- Ghost teachers have been paid more than $500,000 to skip teaching classes and instead work full time for the local teachers’ union, the Reading Education Association (REA).
( Fox News ) The controversial practice of having “ghost teachers” in public schools is haunting another Pennsylvania school district.
A lawsuit was recently filed against the Reading School District in eastern Pennsylvania, alleging that so-called ghost teachers have been paid more than $500,000, essentially to skip teaching classes and instead work full time for the local teachers’ union, the Reading Education Association (REA).
Under current state law, a collective bargaining agreement between a union and a school district can require the district to allow teachers to work full time for the union while still drawing a teacher’s salary and benefits. Such ghost teachers are also paid by their union.
The lawsuit’s plaintiff, Americans for Fair Treatment (AFT), is seeking to end the practice of ghost teaching in Reading. The group claims tax dollars are illegally being given to members of the REA. The AFT filed the lawsuit with assistance from the Fairness Center, a watchdog group.
“I think this has been off people’s radars for a while,” Karin Sweigart, the AFT’s deputy general counsel, said to Fox News. “Unless taxpayers were specific in requesting information on where their money was being allocated, they would not know about these salaries for ghost teachers.”