OUR VIEWS: Teacher pensions broken

Jun 1, 2012

Both school districts have recently been named among the top schools in the nation by both U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek. This is made possible by having top-notch staffing dedicated to the cause of educating children.

It’s unfortunate that the system put into place to help fund teachers’ retirements is receiving a failing grade.

Senate Republicans recently voted to do away with pensions for new teachers and other school workers hired in 2013 and beyond. House Republicans are not in favor of this plan and are working on alternative solutions.

Would such drastic measures jeopardize schools? Would potential teachers choose another career path? Would stellar teachers leave the field? If that is the case, ultimately we all lose due to an unskilled labor market.

A quality education leads to a skilled workforce, which is necessary for economic development and higher quality of life.

That being said, it’s clear that the current retirement system for teachers is broken and must be fixed.

An early lesson in life is that you must live within your means, and that practice clearly doesn’t exist today. Legislators and public school officials must make some tough decisions, just like many in the private sector have made.

The instances of 100 percent company-funded pensions and health care are well behind us, and the public sector needs to follow suit.

Hopefully, those who choose a career for the love of educating children will continue to do so, and those who aren’t as dedicated will move on. Maybe they’ll work to find a solution to Social Security for the rest of us.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

ohwell

If this holds, it will be a true test about teachers and their reason for wanting to be a teacher. As the article states, long gone are the days of pensions and free medical for people that are retired. I think the people that still want to teach, will teach no matter what. The people that want to big pensions and time off, will find something else to do now. Pensions are gone, now let's get rid of tenure too. Then you will see who the real teachers are.

HavenWillie

If this holds, it will be a true test about teachers and their reason for wanting to be a teacher. As the article states, long gone are the days of pensions and free medical for people that are retired. I think the people that still want to teach, will teach no matter what. The people that want to big pensions and time off, will find something else to do now. Pensions are gone, now let's get rid of tenure too. Then you will see who the real teachers are

This is such a tired, cliched, straw man argument. Here is how the argument goes:

A teacher wants to be compensated for their hard work with a decent wage and benefits, therefore they are not real teachers...because real teachers would love to work so much they would do it fr minimum wage.

Please.

ohwell

No one said they have to do it for minimum wage. Everyone knows their pay isn't that great to start, what job is though. The problems is when tenure sets in and their wages increase, there are a lot of teachers that set cruise until retirement. Why? Because the know they got it made, making a good wage for 9 months work (if that with all the time off they get during the year). Then on top of the wage that is way over the national average for household incomes. They get a big pension and free medical for life. And until Synder came along that pension was tax free.....WHAT!!!!!! Yeah tax free. This is very specialized field, and not every one chooses to be a teacher. Just like all professions, people pick teaching because of the perks involved with it, especially in MI. There are a lot of teachers that are single worker homes. You can't do that these days without making good money. And they are not living in the slums either.

anonymous

You are the type of person that I really hate to have. I, as a future educator, take offense to you insinuating that every teacher goes into teaching for the perks. Are you even aware of what it takes to become a teacher? Do you know how much time we have to spend with your children to help them succeed? Most teachers, on top of their education prices, have to take rigorous tests that require four years of hard study. Then, we have to do a year of student teaching. After we get our student teaching and our diploma, we are then able to teach. After that, we have to create lesson plans that follow state guidelines, create meaningful assignments to enhance learning, and - often times - spend anywhere from two to four hours after school correcting homework and getting ready for the next day. I'm in my student teaching right now, and I can tell you that we don't get three months of break. We basically get a couple of weeks before we have to start planning for next year, and even then it isn't really a break because we're still trying to wrap up from the year before. How dare you criticize a field of work that you have no idea what it entails. You only see the surface, but you've never been in-depth with what we have to do. I don't do teaching for the perks. I teach because I love to broaden minds. I love working with students and changing their minds. I realize that not all teachers think this way - and sometimes I see myself as an outlier - but I can assure you that there is a decent group of people who focus on their students rather than what they are doing for summer break. I am so fed up with ignorance when it comes to teaching. How about you try to teach thirty-plus students at one time and see how you like it.

Walk the Talk

1. No matter how many times, no matter how loud you choose to spout off your misinformed opinions, they will never be true. Can you back up anything you've stated in this thread with any unbiased data?
2. Tenure takes 5 years to win, I think it should be graduated like a driver's license. But to discuss this with politicians, they'd have to (1) think, rather than react, (2) listen to experts in the field, (3)answer e-mails/phone calls and have a dignified conversation. (rather than have a "town hall meeting in the middle of the day when working people....are working---very cleaver).
3. Tenure is not set to wages.
4. Teachers are paid according to step increments, which vary from district to district.
5. You speak of "cruising until retirement" (i.e. going through the motions). You seem to know what that's like. Do you speak from experience? Where do you glean all of your juicy facts, "Oh no?"
6. National Average/ Household incomes? So are you comparing college graduate wages to those of a high school drop-out? Or is your "data" isolating similar groups?
Top Degrees
Salary Range
Bachelor's Degree $41,720 - $77,037
Master of Business Administration (MBA) $56,340 - $104,885
Associate's Degree $36,645 - $62,660
Doctorate (PhD) $61,843 - $111,247
Bachelor of Science (BS / BSc), Computer Science (CS) $57,393 - $96,923

Comparing teacher pay to other college educated workers, you'll find some interesting information and truths, Oh No.
http://cdn.theatlantic.com/stati...
Compared to other countries, U.S. flunks in teacher pay
http://www.epi.org/publication/w...
here is a nice informative read for you...if you dare from the National Science Foundation:
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/se...

7. @"OH NO". Why did you "pick your job"? What do you do?

If the people of the state of Michigan want to "cheapen" the profession to save money, no one of any quality will want to risk teaching. Would you do the same with doctors, nurses, engineers, and other professionals, and risk destroying those professions? Education is an investment which pays it's "profits" throughout society, over the course of one's lifetime.

ohwell

Where are you getting that I said anything about high school drop outs? Never once did I say that. You seem to equate normal Joe with drop out, and that is scary. Showing some prejudice there, I think. Tenure takes 5 years......I know for a fact that some teachers have been given tenure from day one. That is something that is kept hush-hush between teachers. Again these positions you quoted for salary, work full-time year round. Also no pension, or tenure and cheap medical, unlike teachers. You see you are getting a full-time salary for less than a years work. I picked my job because it is what I love to do, not for the money. As I don't make a ton a money and have no pension, tenure, cheap medical and no vacation/sick time at all. I do it because I love it, not for the perks. Yes there are other things I could do, but I wouldn't be happy.

3rdCoastColnago

You may need to reread the posts. It's pretty obvious that you've been taken to the woodshed regarding your "expertise". I bet you cannot provide ANY evidence or explain your two statements below: (not to mention your other baseless comments you've made in your posts):

1, "Let's see 2 weeks at Christmas, a week in the Spring, Thanksgiving all of summer and all the other countless days. All these days are guaranteed, don't have to put in a request or anything, just an automatic vacation". Prove that teachers get paid for not working on any of these days. You cannot.
2. ."I know for a fact that some teachers have been given tenure from day one. That is something that is kept hush-hush between teachers."

I'm glad you picked and enjoy your job. Best wishes.

truthhurts

I don’t think that teachers are the entire reason for success or failure in the school system, I think that it has more to do with an individual’s drive to succeed. I think having parents at home pushing/helping their kids and telling them how important a high school education is (college or not) has a larger impact than a ‘good’ teacher. If the parents are ignorant enough not to care about their own kids future, then the kids will assume the same role. Kids have become lazy and to reliant on using technology in a useless manner. When I drive to work in the morning, I see these kids with their heads buried in their cell phones waiting for the bus. I was not allowed to have a cell phone until I was a senior and only if my grades were up to par with my parent’s expectations. You can have the best teacher in the world, but if the kid doesn’t want to learn; he won’t.

ohwell

I have been around long enough and have had kids to know that lesson plans don't change much from year to year. Should they? Yes they should, but don't. Yes you probably work hard at student teaching, meanwhile the teacher sits back and relaxes, plans their summer vacation. Once all that is set up you hit cruise. Yes they are making teachers continue education, FINALLY. I know of teachers that couldn't teach any longer because of that, or at least until they went back to school. Quite frankly you should have to do some sort of continued education. As you said yourself, things are always changing. Therefore, the leaders (teachers) need to be up on all the current stuff. Not teaching from textbooks that are decades old. Yes I have seen them come home. Maybe you are the exception to the rule. Let me ask you this. With the recent news of pensions going away, will continue to pursue teaching as a career in MI? Or will try and move on to another state that still will give their teachers big pensions. I am around teachers enough to hear all the complaints about pay and benefits, which by the way are excellent compared to the normal everyday working people. I might be the person you hate to have around, but I know, hear and witnessed all the complaining and moaning that goes on. Don't like your job look for a new one where you actually have to work for your money, And not get all the time off teachers get. Let's see 2 weeks at Christmas, a week in the Spring, Thanksgiving all of summer and all the other countless days. All these days are guaranteed, don't have to put in a request or anything, just an automatic vacation. Don't forget all the sick days teachers accumulate during their time. Teaching thirty plus kids isn't for me, hence the reason I didn't go into teaching. I went into something I like and don't complain about. I work for my money and have to save for my own retirement, because I don't have the big pension and free medical coming to me after I retire. Not to mention you don't have to wait until your 65 or older to retire. You get to retire in your 50s with all of that. Again, something the normal working Joe can't do, as they have to wait until their 65 or 67 (don't remember what it currently) to retire and hope they get social security. Not too mention if their 401k has not tanked, still they have to wait until they are in their 60s to start getting that. Step off your soapbox, as you are still a young pup and have no clue how the real world works. You wouldn't take offense if the stuff I am saying isn't true. Like I said, do away with pensions, tenure, unions and free bennies and we will see who the real teachers are.

RN97MSN10

I simply could not agree more. Well said, ohwell.

Walk the Talk

1. Oh well, why didn't you enter the field of education if the "bennies" were so good? I mean, this seems to have your knickers in a bunch.
2. What exactly gives you this "inside, intimate knowledge of the art of teaching"? Your post is full of ignorance, misinformation, and apparent jealousy. (What do you do exactly?)
3. Misconception #1: You said, ...."lesson plans don't change much from year to year. Should they? Yes they should, but don't. .......Once all that is set up you hit cruise". Teaching today is different from teaching even 10 years ago in this age of technology and information. I know teachers all over the US and in other countries and none "hit cruise". (Are maybe describing your own job?) Does one's job get easier and perhaps more efficient with experience? Certainly. Research shows that it takes between 7-10 years to "grow" a quality teacher. Many/most teachers alter their lesson plans as student needs reveal themselves in class. I also enjoy the hours of "cruising" (your word) through the planning, and the quizzes and essays I need to grade nightly, on weekends and during "vacations".
4. Misconception #2: You said, "Yes they are making teachers continue education, FINALLY". My father taught in from 1960-1996, in addition to his military years. For his certification, he had to pay to student teach, where many private sector internships pay interns. My father also earned two Master's Degrees that he paid for, even though he wasn't required to take classes during this era. The requirement changed in the early 90's. For 20 years, teachers have been required to continue taking professional development courses to keep their jobs. (do you?) Finally? Nice try.
5. Misconception #3-#4; "Big pensions" and normal every day working people". First, I was attracted to teaching for a variety of idealistic reasons. I wanted to change the world. I wanted to participate in changing lives. I wanted to help young people learn and wonder . Many people do NOT go into the profession, or stay in the profession....BECAUSE OF the pay. The promise of a pension insures that teachers have some security for their sacrifice of pay. Teachers pay into this pension during their careers, which amounts to about 40% of their final salary. If you think 40% is "big", you may want to check your fuzzy math. Politicians were quietly getting full-pensions for 6 years of "service". Had it not been for the pension and health, I would not have considered a career in education. Explain why 50% of teachers choose to leave the profession within 5 years. The attrition number is even higher at 7 years.
6. Misconception #5: You complained, "Let's see 2 weeks at Christmas, a week in the spring, …. and all the other countless days. All these days are guaranteed; ….Don't forget all the sick days teachers accumulate during their time." This steams of jealousy and comparing apples to oranges. Where do I begin? Teachers are paid for contact time, which logically excludes weekends, spring break, and summer vacation time. Teachers do not receive paid vacations, unlike in other similar professions which require degrees. Teachers are not paid for holidays or for the summer vacation- yet many of us do tend to work during theses times. Last year, I worked about 48 hours a week with students, and another 10-15 hours after school. 2200 hours for 36 weeks of work. This is a norm. This doesn’t include grading papers and planning during holidays, summer research/planning. etc. I know a professional who worked 2,115 hours last year with 3 paid weeks off. Interesting.
Sick days- Are hardly used-My father retired with 495 of 500 sick days. Other teachers use a few days as needed, yet have to make lesson plans for a substitute teacher to use to insure that learning continues during a teacher absence. Elementary teachers have to plan for 6 subjects or more, which takes a few hours to prepare. Being absent is no cake walk. Do you have to prepare work for others when your absent, “Mr. Oh no?”
7. Misconception #6: You said, "Teaching thirty plus kids isn't for me" ...."I went into something I like and don't complain about. I work for my money" . Your logic is baffling...and insulting, quite frankly. Teachers at the middle and high school levels have 90-120. students. Each student has his/her own learning needs, coming from very different home environments. Class sizes can range up to 45-50 students in some schools. Add the fact that some students do not come to school to “get educated” and/or do not want to learn. I can see why this might not appeal to you. But, I promise you. I work hard for my money, since I arrived in the Tri-Cities. I have taught your children how I would expect my children to be taught. I practice excellence. I have spent my own money on books, food, and even clothing. Would you do that in your job? I have spent more time with your kids than I have with mine, which when I get such disrespect, I feel regret.

8. Misconception #7: You stated, “You get to retire in your 50s with all of that. Again, something the normal working Joe can't do…”. I guess I do something the “normal Joe can’t do”, or chooses not to do. The normal Joe doesn’t go to college. The normal Joe also has benefits that a teacher cannot take advantage of. You see the tip of the iceberg regarding retirement.

9. You said, “Step off your soapbox, as you are still a young pup and have no clue how the real world works. You wouldn't take offense if the stuff I am saying isn't true. Like I said, do away with pensions, tenure, unions and free bennies and we will see who the real teachers are.” I’m no “young pup”. And as I speak from 20+ years of experience in education, I am writing to say that your tangent is riddled with misconceptions. I find it interesting how you decided to define a dedicated teacher. Benefits attract quality talent, just as they do in the pvt sector. Tenure exists to protect teachers against “witch hunts”, not to protect lazy teachers. Lazy, ineffective evaluators protect lazy employees. There are lazy employees in every segment of society, yet they keep their jobs too. I could go on, but I’ll stop. I have papers to grade.

ohwell

You are not even coming close to comparing apples to apples when it comes to normal Joe and their perks. Yes, a normal Joe has a degree that requires them to sit at a desk 5 days a week year round. Maybe they get 2 weeks vacation a year for their reward. They get a 401k that they have to contribute to, pay on the average of $500/month for their medical with high deductibles and co-pays. No pension of 40% of their final wage to live on for the rest of their life. And remember that was tax free until Synder came along. I am pretty sure that 40% of your pay is more than a lot of people working 40hr/week jobs make a year. All of that and you get it in your 50s if you started teaching at an early age. I see teachers that were around when I was in school that have been retired for years and haven't worked a day since. The normal Joe can not retire in in his 50s and be set for life. You are getting a full-time salary for your work anyway. In case you haven't figured it out, you get paid the same or more than some that work 40hrs/week 52 weeks a year. In a way you get paid vacations, cause as I said you are getting a salary not an hourly wage. You get the same amount of money whether you take off or not. Tenure is not there to protect you, you already have the union for that. Get rid of tenure and go with performance based evaluations, and have the parents and students do the evaluating, you will see who is performing then. What are these benefits that the normal Joe gets that a teacher doesn't? I know of none, other than getting to work longer hours, more days per year and not having as much time off as a teacher. Oh and maybe getting 3 to 5 sick days a year. That can wiped out with one bout of the flu. Better not get sick, or your kids get sick the rest of the year, cause if you do, you get fired. See there is no tenure or unions these day that protect the normal Joe. Please enlighten me on these perks that we get that you don't. Good to see you are doing your job, grading papers. Let me ask you this. How many movies do you show your students every year? That seems to be a common theme these days when it is close to the end of the semester, tri-mester or year. Tell me 20+ years with the system. Do you have your countdown calendar on the wall until retirement? The normal Joe doesn't have that, as they probably took a huge hit in their 401k, and have to continue to work well into their 60s to recoup, if they are lucky.

Walk the Talk

@Oh no. Your response reiterates your ignorance and misunderstanding of Education. Regarding that pension, it's part of my overall package. Plus, I have been paying into it (and yes, I too, am a taxpayer). What do you do, Oh NO? Afraid to say?

I haven't thought of retiring, until this year with all of the toxic attacks on teachers, under the facade of "reform". It's been exhausting, frankly, and many teachers are leaving the profession early because of it. But no, there is no countdown calendar like you may have. Like the majority of excellent teachers in the Tri-Cities, I love teaching. I love having a positive impact on my students' learning and on their future. A small part of that impact may be revealed on a test, but more importantly years later in many "unmeasurable ways".

Why don't you give teaching a shot? You seem to have a lot of interest in teaching. I hear it's easy, high paying, and the nation's best and brightest are jumping at the chance to spend their lives teaching our nation's future. Your "values" regarding education is evident through your posts, Oh no. After reading your comments...I simply think...oh....no.

ohwell

Who is this Oh no you speak of? I hope you are better at teaching than that. You want to get out while it's still good. Finally they are looking at how good teachers have it, and taking it away just like the private sector workforce has had their jobs stripped away by creedy corporate USA. Your overall package is way better than any private sector worker has, except the UAW (another corrupt union) that protects their lazy workers as well.

doolieboy

"Quite frankly you should have to do some sort of continued education. As you said yourself, things are always changing. Therefore, the leaders (teachers) need to be up on all the current stuff."

You should really know your facts before spewing off, ohwell. Fact is, teachers need to take 6 credits of coursework every 5 years to keep their certification. Perhaps since your kids have gone through the system already and you no longer care, you don't keep up on all the changes. Summer "break" is taken up with workshops, college courses, and meeting. I suggest you do a little more research. You knowledge on this subject is as out-of-date as those textbooks you speak of.

ohwell

6 credits every 5 years, oh the horror. That is just over 1 credit a year, hardly a hardship for someone that has plenty of time to do it. As far as bashing the system now that my kids are done. Well my kids aren't done, and I have bashed from day one. It is my right to be irritated by teachers and their work conditions. As you know we (the taxpayers) pay their salaries (and yes they are salaries, not wages). I know too many teachers to know that their summers are hardly taken up by workshops and college courses. Some continued education, yes. As I stated before, they should always be continuing education to keep up with the current teaching stuff. After all they are teachers, teaching our kids. They are getting a salary that is bigger than most people working full-time year round (with a weeks vacation), for only working part of the year. If they have to take a week or two out of their summer to continue education, then good, they should be anyway. Again my point is, you take away pensions, free medical and tenure, you will see who really wants to be a teacher. You will see a sharp decline in applicants in the area, because the free ride is over. Oh and our future educator mentioned how long they have to go to school. Let's see it is 4-year program just like any other profession. Yes there is student teaching, just as there is internships and externships with other professions. Some paid, and some not paid. That argument doesn't hold water with me, nor probably anyone else for that matter. Then after that they don't get tenure or a pension. If they are lucky, they get a 401k and have to pay huge monthly premium for their medical insurance with huge deductibles and co-pays.

Jaques Strapp

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines

owell

"That argument doesn't hold water with me, nor probably anyone else for that matter." Amazing that you know the heart of "anyone." With an open mind like yours, it must be more of a sieve and holds very little. Continued good luck with "your" very happy career choice and your choice to continue being a hater that has fallen short in their own life. I have chosen to not try hard in life and I work a production job. Why hate those who chose something harder to obtain and get better rewards. We all make our own choices.

jealousofteachers

Gotta love people like ohwell. Take advantage of the system getting your kids a free education, but then bash it when you no longer need it. If you want the same schedule as teachers, you should have gone into education. Don't wallow in jealousy. Who frets about other peoples' vacation time and pension? Geez, must be nice to have all that extra time!

biped

Pensions are earned and shouldn't be looked upon as some extra luxury. I agree that bad teachers should be replaced, but getting rid of both tenure and pensions wouldn't attract top-notch instructors. I say increase salaries, make tenure almost impossible to get (Tennessee does this), and pay based upon merit. No dedicated teacher would accept this demanding career if he/she weren't fairly compensated. And for those of you who may not agree, well, clearly you've never managed a public school classroom, as I have. Until you do you'll never get it.

ohwell

Raise the salary???? Yeah that is what we need, teachers making more. NOT!!!! I agree with you if tenure is kept, make it very difficult to get. We are far from having top notch teachers in the district. Yes we have some great teachers, but there are plenty of bad teachers here too. Parents have complained and yet nothing is done. Teachers are compensated fair enough in this district. How many are two income families with teachers, not many. How are pensions earned?

biped

Open your mind and consider teachers outside of the local districts and those out of the state of Michigan because there are places where teachers earn far less than what you may think. For what it's worth, I will alway support raising salaries for outstanding teachers. If you think that teaching is easy and that all teachers earn outstanding salaries then you are a marginal and misinformed individual. That is all.

ohwell

I am fully aware of teachers out of state. Raise those salaries fine, but not the ones in MI. Also other states don't have the unions and tenure to protect. Those teachers to me, are the ones doing it because they want to, not for the paycheck.

HavenWillie

I don't make a ton a money and have no pension, tenure, cheap medical and no vacation/sick time at all. .....really? I never would have guessed.

newspaperlawyer

I would hate to hear what Ohwell has to say about the UAW, Teamsters, Police Unions, Firefighter Unions, Pipe fitters Unions, Steel Workers Unions, State and Federal Unions... I guess if he works in such a terrible profession... I would left the job a long time ago... If you still don't get it... people that retire as such young age of 50-55 usually gets such a small pension... he is only eligible to collect benefits... does not mean they can live on this pension... Most people get another job in a different profession or move on for a second job for a second pension... Is their really something wrong with this... Usually most employers try to push out the older people to get the young bucks in cause they pay less money for new hires... and it cost the company less money... Its not the teachers or the public employees fault cause the economy took a dump... If you have a 401K and don't have it invested right... that is your fault.. Not the teachers or any other public servants either. See Unions have done some real good things for the employees that worked for real greedy employers including some in the public sector......

twpresident

To RN97MSN10 you had better watch out! ohwell will be attacking your nursing union soon. (I am assuming you belong to one due to your catchy user name of registered nurse 1997 and masters of science in nursing 2010). I am fairly sure by ohwell's comments that he is a routine union basher since he is unhappy with his own life.

RN97MSN10

I have been a nurse for 15 years and have yet to belong to a union. And I have never felt the need for one either.

ohreally

Ohwell you are the perfect example of one ignorant, ill informed, loudmouth. You are very contradictory in all of your statements and know nothing about what you are talking about. The one that is driving me crazy is your ideas about tenure. Tenure is not and cannot be gained from day one. It is required by LAW that tenure not be granted until 4 years of SUCCESSFUL probationary experience (5 years now). Your other idea related to tenure is that you think once tenure has been reached, you are given a money tree and complete immunity. If you simply did your homework and went to ANY school website and look at the contract between the teachers union and the board of education (oh yah that is MUTUALLY agreed upon) you will see the gradual increase of pay as one's degree advances and years of service continues. YOU also do not pay a teacher's salary, taxes, which are paid by all and in pertinence to sales tax, the voters agreed to give that money to the state and the state determines how they spend that money. That's like me saying that I bought product x so I have an open say as to what you should or shouldn't get. Also, as a teacher, I don't get a full time salary, I get paid for 9 months with work and CHOOSE to spread my money out over the course of a year. I will never complain about my salary, I live comfortably and have the option to work in the summer or not...however I do NOT get a "full time" salary, I get a salary based on a 9 month work year. I also got a "salary" for working a summer job as a camp director while in college too. It wasn't based on "full time" it was based on the period of time I was employed by the organization. Also ohwell, if you really want to compare teachers to the private sector ( you said compare apples to apples, which public and private sectors are not apples to apples) my family is employed by the private sector. My mother and step father, work in large West Michigan corporations. They don't have an exact minute in which they need to be in, they don't have to prepare someone else to do the job at their desk while they are in a meeting, they can go out to lunch, they DEFINITELY get more than 2 weeks a year off, they can work from home, they receive bonuses that are at least 25% of what I make annually. I ask that you don't feed me a line of crap at how much more teachers get as compared to others. It really sounds like your anger is with the government, not the teachers. If you are so disgusted with what teachers make and what "creedy corporate USA" is doing, then exercise your voice and vote. I'm sure of course that you feel that Obama has done this to you and Snyder is a God send because 1.8 billion dollar tax cut to business is the best idea EVER! Either way ohwell...I hope you can find some form of peace in your life. I will continue to teach, love teaching, and change my lessons every year. I have 30 students in my room that all have various needs and abilities. I love each and every one of them and wouldn't trade a single one...even the one that has bathroom issues, or the one that knows more profanity than I do, or the one that is severely autistic and has limited language abilities...they are my students and I am proud of each and every one of them...I am still human however and do feel that I should be compensated for my work and will continue to be disgusted with people like yourself who have never jumped into the trenches (my proof to back that up is your ignorance... anyone that actually had jumped in wouldn't feel the way you do) but run your mouth like there is no tomorrow.

MeanSmith

We need to get these teachers the pensions they deserve people!! come on! As a community we need to come together and scrape up the cash for them! Its the difference between having dumb and smart children! We need to keep the great teachers in our community, not ship them down south!!

grandhavennative

Really!!!! You don't believe us parents are a huge part of the success in our education system?? It is only the teachers?? Yes lets scrape up the cash for the teacher so they can have a pension payed by the tax payer, after all better than everyone else and our children will be dumb without the current ones employed. After all you are saying that GH/SL teacher are better than an other teachers in the area??? It couldn't be we live in a nice area and have the support of good families in this area? The economy is suffering, everyone is suffering, pensions are a thing of the past. If you want retirement then save in a 401k and Roth IRA like everyone else. I would really like to see how many teachers would really jump ship, isn't Grand Haven one of the highest paid areas???
And If it just about money than maybe many of these teachers picked the wrong field and we would be happy to replace them.

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