Academic Nirvana: California Teacher Paid Full Salary and Benefits to Stay At Home For Seven Years

5470dc397cd89080e0430a0002109080My life long dream was to secure tenure and gradually become a non-productive burden upon by school and colleagues — achieving that perfect deadwood state of zero productivity with maximum profitability. It appears that Matthew Kim has achieved that sacred state. Kim has been paid a full salary and benefits for seven years to do absolutely nothing in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Better yet, this work is performed at home.

Kim is one of 160 teachers who are paid full salaries while their fitness is being reviewed by Los Angeles Unified School District. He is expected to start work at 7:50 am (commuting is not a problem) and take lunch breaks before quitting work at 3:20 pm.
The special education teacher was moved into this dream-like state after he was accused at Grant High School in Van Nuys of allegedly harassing teenage students and other teachers. When the board voted to fire him, he appealed and has continued in the system since that time — costing the district over $2 million.

He has been unsuccessful in various claims, including a claim of disability discrimination due to his cerebral palsy (which requires the use of a wheelchair). An estimated 550 of the district’s 80,000 teachers are in this state where they do virtually nothing as the system moves at a glacial pace.

Obviously, this system is the fault of the superintendent and the Board members, who have utterly failed to maintain an efficient system of review. What is incredible is that these members voted to fire 5000 teachers due to budget shortfalls but allow the system to continue to spend millions on individual teachers like Kim in salaries and legal costs out of sheer incompetence. These teachers will not be able to linger in the system because their positions are being cut as opposed to being fired for individual misconduct. So, the teachers accused of wrongdoing are allowed to remain on the payroll for years without work while good teachers are kicked out onto the street.

This obviously has nothing to do with due process. Other cities review such cases in a relatively short time and resolve these cases. These are not death penalty cases — even though Mr. Kim’s case is now approaching the average time for a death row appeal.

The Los Angeles Times study below should result in new openings in the Superintendent’s office and board member positions. While the estimated $10 million a year may be viewed as too trivial to worry about by the management, it would go along way for the teachers and students in this cash-strapped system.

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15 thoughts on “Academic Nirvana: California Teacher Paid Full Salary and Benefits to Stay At Home For Seven Years”

  1. So, this case has not been decided yet? Slow or not -this man could be innocent. I am a teacher and I have been accused of mistreating a student with whom I had a great relationship. Oh, and the father beats his wife. Some parents are disturbed.

    Your implication that there are a bunch of lazy teachers seeking disability is a slap in the face to the hard-working teachers -many whom I know work with pain and disabilities. Have you seen cerebral palsy? This man probably deserves disability.

    Remember logic class in college? You are generalizing and jumping to conclusions. I guess you are like a Rush-type who likes to pick out individual cases and sensationalizes them.

    Why am I bothering with you? Because I see by the response how people with no critical-thinking skills will follow any jerk who encourages their worst fears. Cheap shot in these economic times.

  2. MikeS:

    I don’t disagree with you, I am willing to agree that there are a good many bad corporate actors and I know many good government workers. But I also know that there are many in government that take advantage of the system and cannot be fired. Also it may have more to do with the size of an entity rather than whether it is government or pirate sector.

    But there does appear to be a good deal of waste in government. When it is not your money you really don’t care how it is spent. Arguably there are some in government that do care and are good stewards of our money, on the whole I think most ambivalent at best.

    And as far as large corporations go they are probably the same, look at the recent KBR fiasco with god knows how much contract overrun. It is all appalling and we the people should start voting our pocketbooks for elected officials that will be good stewards of our money.

    My first requirement is an end to corporate welfare and farm subsidies. Let those organizations rise or fall on their merits. Secondly eliminate government grants and waste, no more pork barrel spending. Well anyway you get the idea and I could go on and on.

  3. “think it about time that the idle rich are put to work.”

    Bron,
    I agree with you but under the systems you espouse they won’t be put to work, but make out just fine. While the poor, hardworking person who has lost their job, through no fault of their own, will be royally screwed.

  4. “Anonymously Yours I’m not sure what you are saying.
    Bron98 I understand, he is stating the very obvious propensity of the government to do a lousy job of running anything. While quite often creating the problems that exist only after they run or control an activity.”

    MacK & Bron,
    What you state is the obvious propensity of government to do a lousy job of running anything, is merely the accretion of forty years worth of conservative propaganda and minor anecdotal evidence which has no basis in fact. I’ll make you a proposition and that is for every instance (major of course) where you can prove government incompetence, I will give you two where I can show the incompetence of corporate America. What you state as obvious is merely conservative trash talk, promoted to cover the fact that every conservative regime we’ve had in America’s last 100 years has been incompetent and corrupt.

    I worked in government for 32 years and I’ll match the work ethic of myself and those who worked for and with me against corporate America, any time. The difference was that while we were paid modestly/poorly, the corporate “geniuses” were looting their shareholders money and destroying their companies.

    This is why Medicare’s administrative cost is about 2% and
    the average HMO’s is about 20%. There are good arguments to be made on how much government should be involved with things, but this is not one of them. The belief in government incompetence has been launched into “common wisdom” by a corporate/military industrial complex spending billions on PR, that has lived by a socialism for the rich
    philosophy, while the rest of us are screwed by unequal taxation and lack of services.

  5. aNON:

    I think it about time that the idle rich are put to work. Too many of those types around, a little hard work never killed anyone. Let them go out and earn a living the way the rest of us do. Maybe they will then have a better appreciation for how hard their grandfathers worked to build those fortunes they take for granted.

    I guess the guy that lost 88 million dosent have to worry about the taxes anymore.

  6. Bron98,

    You know the Irony of the whole situation. Bush and his cronies not only ruined the Capital Markets of other countries. He totally screwed over the greedy people that put his ass in politics to start with. I have a number of friends that are tryst fund babies. They had it too good. No one since their Great Granddad worked to make any money. They are now trying to figure out how to reduce spending as the stocks that they had invested in became worthless. They can’t make utility payments either. These are multi-million dollar homes some exceeding 50k square feet. They have problems they can’t get a loan because they have no real ability to pay it back even if the bank would loan it to them, although on paper they have worth in excess of 15 million.

    Tom Hicks is another causality of Bushdom. He has a great fortune and also owns the rangers and stars. He defaulted on a line of credit of 100 million because he could not or would not make the interest payment. The bank was forced to call in 450 million or 425 million secured debt. You tell me.

    Bush did what he had to do to assure those that were in power still got the extra payouts that Obama is trying to reel back in. I do not think that he did it to help the American economy. He is too stupid to do that. Just like a lot of Court decisions are made and it how you get to the result that you wanted to start with. As Scalia know and every other lawyers knows. There is no right of privacy spelled out in the Constitution. But as he became aware, his was invaded.

    You want to know what t trouble is. I was approached by someone that wanted to know if they could sue a financial advisor. Apparently they had 100 million to much cash and they were going to be taxed. It was invested and lo and behold after the stock fall out it became worth 12 million. And you think you have problems.

    Yeah right!!!!!

  7. Anon:

    Government bailout is not government bailout it is tax payer funded, you and I are paying for incompetence. Had Bush not done the TARP (and god damn him to hell for that) we would have faced a severe short down turn and short term pain. The markets were starting to work when TARP took effect through mergers and acquisitions of various financial institutions. What Bush did was give Obama moral coverage for his stimulus plan and cause uncertainty in the markets. This uncertainty has caused the problem to continue.

    What is being done and what will be done will probably never be undone. We are (and I hope I am wrong and all of this stimulus works) going to have inflation and high interest rates for a very long time. We are going to be left with a significant reduction in the middle class due to this stress and we are going to be a poorer country for it. Where are they going to get the money to do all this? There are not enough rich people to fund this type of spending and if you raise taxes too much your tax revenues are going into the toilet thus requiring more inflation and borrowing. It is a vicious cycle/circle.

    Basically it’s my money, I earn it and I have a right to it. It is taken from me by force to fund things I don’t want to pay for, namely bailing out fat cat incompetent CEO’s for running their business into the ground. Why should we the people pay for someone else’s managerial ineptitude?

    The market is trying to work right now with foreclosure sales, there are many very good opportunities for people to buy a house at 1/3 of the former price. Let the markets work keep government out of it and let the people that truly now how to make a buck fix the problems that an unholy alliance of Big Government, Big Business and uninformed/misinformed consumers gave us.

    John Maynard Keynes was a half assed economist and has been discredited in all but the “finer” intellectual saloons in the US and Europe. Keep his Bravo Sierra out of the discussion and look to Hayck and Von Mises and other free market economists for solutions.

  8. MacK,

    I am not proposing that the Government run them. I am in support of a receiver which is a court appointed person to over see the financial concerns of the business.

    Do I think that they would be a part of the government? But you cannot have my money unless I know where you intend to spend it. Kind of like taking out a bank loan.

  9. MacK,

    I will look for the article I read but I found this link:

    http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2005/10/macro_effects_o.html

    But this portion supports what I have heard.

    “My own interpretation is that energy disruptions only start to matter a great deal for the economy when utilization rates of other factors of production besides energy are observed to adjust. For example, in deciding to cancel flights, the airline is not just using less energy but also likely laying off workers. A typical pattern in the above episodes was that consumers suddenly became very apprehensive following the supply disruptions, postponing big ticket purchases such as automobiles. As automobile sales declined and workers were laid off in autos and the industries that sell to the auto makers, further cutbacks in spending by those affected led the economy into recession.”

  10. Anonymously Yours I’m not sure what you are saying.
    Bron98 I understand, he is stating the very obvious propensity of the government to do a lousy job of running anything. While quite often creating the problems that exist only after they run or control an activity.

    It appears to me, you are saying the government must help mismanaged businesses with more mismanagement and money. You state you can’t write them a check, so they can stay afloat. Do you know where the money the government uses to keep them afloat comes from? That’s right it comes from checks you write.

    Now would you show us some concrete statistics where one fight from Detroit to LA will reduce or create 10,000 jobs. I will suddenly be enlightened to all that is wrong in the world.

  11. Bron98,

    If I invested money in you, to assure that you are doing with my money what you said you were doing would you have a problem?

    What about just letting the banks fail, what are the unintended consequences? How far would this failure reach? How many nations would be affected, think AIG. Here they are Insurance, in England where a major part of the financial seam bursted over seas and globally, they were in Banking and Insurance. A peculiar thing about England’s investment portfolio, it is called personal liability. Your personal wealth can be wiped out to make up any deficiency.

    What about a car manufacture? Do you realize how many service related businesses are created? Do you care?

    I bet you did not know that an airline canceling one flight between Det (DTW) and LA (LAX) will reduce the amount of service related employment by over 10,000 jobs? One flight. Think about if you were that one person working on that one flight?

    I have heard that it will cost over 1000K jobs and 10K I am being safe and saying 10 as I believe it is a more realistic number.

    Do you have the money to write them a check to keep them afloat, I don’t.

  12. Another example of government incompetence, and Obama wants to run the banks and car manufacturers’. FUBAR comes to mind.

  13. I suggest a motto change on the logo to “Today’s Learners. Tomorrow’s Leechers.”

  14. And where do I sign up so that my salary will be protected as well.

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