I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Talking To Teachers At the SOS March - Part I

I love talking to retired or end-of-career teachers; they bring a wisdom to the education conversation that has been sorely lacking.

This woman is a retired teacher from Elizabeth, NJ; 37 years on the job!

Listen to what this former teacher is saying: she entered the field KNOWING she would make less money than if she had chosen another career. But she made that choice knowing she would have a pension and decent health care in retirement. Again: she made a conscious choice.

This is what is so very, very dangerous about the pension revisions that are happening all over the country, particularly here in NJ. Young people are watching politicians break a promise to public workers. They are learning that the meager Cost Of Living Allowances (COLAs) in pensions and health care protections can be taken away at any moment by politicians who are so craven they renege on a promise without a second thought.

Who would ever want to become a teacher in this kind of world? Or a cop, or firefighter, or social worker?

How sad - but understandable - that she has cautioned her own children away from the profession.

Is this the legacy the corporate reformers want to leave?

1 comment:

Madeleine said...

Is this the legacy the corporate reformers want to leave?

Corporate reformers are not interested in legacy. They are interested in this quarter's profits, their bonuses, their promotions. This is the attitude that put our economy where it is today. Education is their next target for profits and self-promotion. I fear for the next generation of children.