Perspective on Pensions, Felonies and the Law
Disturbing allegations about some Los Angeles area teachers and their unthinkable and illicit actions against students have generated a lot of media coverage recently. You have probably seen the stories.
In addition to sparking public outrage over how such things could happen in our schools, these reports have prompted some to question why a teacher who is alleged to have so seriously violated the public trust and students’ innocence should continue to receive pension benefits. We understand this frustration.
This is an unfortunate scenario, and one that CalSTRS has no discretion over. We do not make the laws that govern teachers’ pensions, but we must follow them. So, unless and until the law is changed to address this issue, CalSTRS has to continue to pay pension benefits under the law in cases like this.
It is our responsibility to administer the Teachers’ Retirement System as created by the Legislature and defined by law. And, as difficult as it may be and as much as we may not like it, the law is clear in this case.