Sen. Jennifer Shilling Distorts Truth During Joint Finance Hearing

De Soto Teacher Paid More To Teach In “Third World Country” Than Wisconsin?

MacIver News Service | May 14, 2013

[Madison, Wisc…] Alleging she was frustrated with the affects of Act 10, a teacher in western Wisconsin is taking a teaching job in Colombia, where she will work for a private school, sponsored by a mining company, and will likely be exempt from paying US taxes.

“The administrator was telling me how they had a bright teacher who now is looking to move to a third world country, who will be earning more in a third world country than what she would be earning in a rural school district in western Wisconsin,” Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) said during a Joint Committee on Finance hearing on March 21st in opposition to expanding the school choice program.

The MacIver News Service contacted Sen. Shilling’s office and learned the school district she was referring to was De Soto. The district administrator there, Jim Kuchta, confirmed part of Shilling’s story.

He said that teacher learned about the job at the University of Northern Iowa’s Overseas Recruiting Fair, and she did decide to take it.

Despite Sen. Shilling’s public statement, the teacher will be earning a lower salary in Colombia. Her current salary is in the low thirties, and her new job will pay a salary of $29,000 according to Administrator Kuchta. There are other benefits, however, that Kuchta said make up for the lower pay.

All her expenses will be paid for by the mining company. Also, the University of Northern Iowa’s Overseas Placement Service website explains “Americans employed abroad are generally entitled to a $70,000 exclusion of taxable income under certain defined conditions.”

Shilling’s office did not respond to a request for clarification from MNS regarding the teacher’s earnings in Wisconsin versus the Third World.

If the Senator finds time to respond to our numerous requests for clarification of her original statement, the MacIver News Service will update this story.