More Official Time Cases in Pennsylvania

James Sherk and Nate Bohlander describe the case of the “missing” teacher.  Missing from the classroom, that is, as this teacher currently takes care of union business full-time but will enjoy all of the perks of a Pennsylvania teacher courtesy of the Pennsylvania taxpayer.  This practice, known as “official” or “release” time, and is paid for by the taxpayer just as if the teacher actually is teaching in a school.  Check out the story on

In 1976, Jerry Jordan began his career teaching Spanish in Philadelphia public schools. A decade later, Jordan left the classroom to work full time for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. He is now the union’s president, negotiating with public officials for union members’ wages and benefits – but there’s one big problem.

Nearly 30 years after Jordan graded his last test, Philadelphia taxpayers are still covering part of his compensation.

How is this possible?

A union practice known as “release time” or “official time” enables Jordan to tap the public payroll to staff his private political organization – and he’s far from the only one. Union contracts typically include provisos allowing government employees to work for their union while on the clock and on the public dime.