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 firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.