Anyone who read James V. Shuls' Aug. 8 guest column in the Post-Dispatch ("Why do Missouri's best superintendents head for the exit?") must take into account his affiliation with Rex Sinquefield's Show-Me Institute.
For several years Sinquefield has targeted Missouri's public schools pension system in an effort to substantially change the way it is managed, which is as a nonprofit, and to have private, for-profit financial companies manage its investments. His goal presumably is to substantially reduce retiree benefits.
Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri has been highly successful since its inception in 1946 and has a 73-year history of meeting its commitments to retired K-12 public school personnel while remaining financially strong.
In this opinion piece, Shuls would have you believe that the retirement system is the reason that superintendents and other public school personnel retire. On the contrary, the system is one reason why many stay in public school positions for 30-plus years, as it allows them to receive a fair retirement pension.
Sinquefield's Show-Me Institute has no interest in the well-being of public school personnel.
Mr. Shuls' title of "distinguished fellow of education policy" was not awarded to him by an institute of higher education but rather it's a title made up by the Show-Me Institute. The public should wonder if Mr. Shuls' Show-Me Institute affiliation might compromise his impartiality as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Bill Byrd • Wildwood