CPS responds to double dipping accusations

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Public School District is working on a deal that could save the district money but also allows Superintendent Mary Ronan to collect her retirement pension and a salary at the same time.

The school board approved a motion last week to accept Ronan's retirement which would end her current $189,000 contract.

The board would then re-hire Ronan at about half the cost for a $99,000 annual salary.

Not everyone in the district loves the idea and some retired teachers say it is double dipping.

Ronan's pension would allow her to collect around 80 percent of her salary equaling just over $150,000, paid for by the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio.

FOX19 talked with one teacher who wanted to remain anonymous who thinks the system is unfair.

School board member Melanie Bates says the plan was Ronan's idea but it was presented to save the district money.

"In the economic environment that we are in right now in Cincinnati Public Schools, we're faced with cutting $43 million from the upcoming budget. We're looking everywhere to cut corners and save pennies and dollars and this is a proposal to save over $100,000," says Bates.

If Ronan were to retire and not be re-hired the district would still have to cover the salary of a new superintendent and the cost of a search.

"We not only are able to save money but we're retaining our Superintendent whose providing stability and progress in our district," says Bates.

Under Ronan's leadership CPS has consistently pulled schools out of academic emergency and improved the district's overall state report card.

"We know that it is rather controversial to retire and re-hire but we thought in the big scheme CPS does benefit from this," says Bates.

If Ronan were to stay and not retire at all, CPS says she would face a financial pension penalty forcing the district to increase her salary by $30,000.

"We would have to pay her $210,000 to offset the penalty she would incur if she didn't retire," says Bates.

According to Ohio law there must be a public hearing before the deal is done.

The public is urged to attend the regular school board meeting April 30th at 7 p.m.

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