Pension Reform Needed In CCS and CIF

Next week CCS Watchdog will release financial information and analysis for the 2012- 2013 school year. Based on the findings, it is becoming more clear that countless emails from parents, teachers and coaches wondering how CCS salaries , pensions and administrative costs can so significantly  out strip the pay of the school teachers , coaches and administrators  of  the member schools  CCS is charged to serve. High school sports; as music, theater and art programs are an extension of a high school experience. And for most students’ participation in sports does little for their overall education or life experience value. Those who are deeply impacted are a very small minority of the state’s high school population. The reality is few high school students will be awarded athletic scholarships or ever make big bucks in sports later in life. But many will need a valuable education and social investment in other opportunities that will support their lifetime choices and value. That core fact needs a bit of economic attention and reality.  Member schools must understand the costs, fees and value they get by participating in high school sports through CCS/CIF.  As members of the CCS member school management team sit and listen to economic updates and reports, few individuals who review those reports question how funds are used to actually benefit schools and athletes as they intend. Few question excessive legal or accounting fees that are expended at the direction of the CCS staff. Few question how pensions and excessive salaries will burden the organization and state tax payers long after a CCS staff member retires and payment to a replacement is required. Few question  the imbalance that exists between CCS and CIF salaries and costs  vs. a lack of pay for coaches who. Has CCS Commissioner Nancy Blaser done such an exceptional job that she is entitled to receive a pension over $200,000 per year for the rest of her life when the coaches who likely impacted far more athletes will earn nothing? The system is broken, it is not sustainable. Combined with the pension burden, mismanagement, bad accounting practices and questionable ethical issues waste even more state,  likely have a far more significant impact on the state’s high school student population. Maybe before we fail to give a teacher a raise, before we cut an art department or before we eliminate transportation for our neediest students, we should look at the money we are spending right here in the CCS office. As pension reform and salary discussions spread across the state, CCS and CIF should not be immune.