Collins superintendent isn’t ‘double dipping’

Published 10:47 am Friday, May 15, 2009

I think it would be informative to your readers if they knew the rest of the story on the rehiring of Superintendent Steve Dodgion at the Lawrence County vocational school, commonly known as Collins Career Center.

The Board of Education crossed every “T” and dotted every “I.” They had their public hearing and notified the public of the full intentions of the board.

I feel there are some of the readers who will say, “Superintendent Dodgion is getting double pay,” if fact the common term is double dipping. Well, let me set the record straight.

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First of all the Mr. Dodgion has reached the level of retirement, in time served, and payments made to the retirement system (State Teachers Retirement System), therefore, he is going to his savings account and making a withdraw each month, and at the same time working the same job, doing the same duties, as before.

I was born and raise at Hecla and went to Jackson County to start my teaching career. After 40 years I retired and re-hired doing the same job (classroom teacher) for the same pay scale.

I really get upset when someone refers to my “double dipping.” I worked two different jobs. Why shouldn’t I get paid for both of them?

Remember that monthly check I get from the State Teachers Retirement is my savings account, earned by making monthly deposits for 40 years.

Another sore spot of mine, and Mr. Dodgion will soon find this out, is that State Teachers Retirement will charge him, as they do me, an extra 9 percent, of his basic salary. For what? Good question.

When I ask my retirement system to explain this outrageous charge, they explained, “it is for your benefits.” But you see, they don’t provide any of my benefits.

Wellston City Schools, where I am employed, provides my health, dental and life insurance.

Keep in mind that every re-employed teacher must meet all of the state requirements and training as all other teachers, but don’t get all of the benefits that the regular teaching staff receive.

In closing let me commend Mr. Dodgion for not taking a vast amount of educational knowledge and going to some Florida beach or some mountain stream filled with trout, but instead investing it in our county’s most important resource, our children.

Paul E. Sites, Jackson