Nearly 2,000 school employees retire tomorrow to avoid benefit loss

Interesting story about 1,700 school employees retiring tomorrow to take advantage of a base pay boost that is about to disappear.

According to the AJC:

In a typical year, fewer than 300 of the state’s educators retire Dec. 1, while the school year is in full swing.

But this year, 1,707 educators across the state have opted to retire now. This includes 123 employees — including 63 teachers, four counselors, seven paraprofessionals, two assistant principals and two principals — in Gwinnett County, the state’s largest school district.

They’re heading out the door just in time to claim a one-time 3 percent increase in their base for yearly pension benefits that’s been given to new retirees for more than 20 years and is being discontinued in January.

The bump in benefits — capped at 3 percent of $37,500, or an extra $1,125 — was established after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that Georgia could not exempt the pensions of state employees from state income tax while taxing the pensions of federal government workers.

In recent years, Georgia also has ratcheted up a state income tax exclusion for all retirees — government and nongovernment — so that $35,000 is now exempt for retirees between ages 62 and 65, $65,000 for those 65 and older, said Jeff Ezell, executive director of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia.

The TRS board decided months ago that the 3 percent adjustment was no longer necessary, Ezell said.

Allowing it to continue would mean state retirees would be “getting a double benefit,” he said.

The state is moving in a similar direction for other state employees.

In most metro school systems, officials said they’ll deal with the departures as smoothly as possible.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

110 comments Add your comment

Recent College Grad

November 30th, 2012
10:51 pm

I graduated in May and have been looking and applying in all the counties close to me. I live in Coweta- I have applied in Fulton, Coweta, Heard, Merriwether, Troup, Carroll County, Douglasville, Griffin-Spalding and Clayton and Fayette. If I were young I would just move to where there are teaching jobs but I am older with children in Elementary & Middle School and a husband with a job, so we can’t move at this time. I really hope that my phone rings. I apply for every position that comes open in any of the above counties that I am qualified for(Elementary School). Many of my friends that graduated with me are either working as parapros because they cannot find jobs or they are subbing. I know people who graduated 2 years ago and still have not found teaching jobs.

Unfortunately the way counties hire especially in Coweta, Troup and Heard is if they know you previously or you know someone that knows someone. I am planning on being at the Clayton job fair and I have applied for all the positions Fulton has available.
Hoping I find a teaching position.

Sam

November 30th, 2012
11:19 pm

There are many employees in Dekalb retiring today, November 30th. If you look on the website, you can see all of the employment vacancies.

d

November 30th, 2012
11:54 pm

I think TRS thought teachers would stay “for the children.” They sorely underestimated how beat down teachers in Georgia are feeling right now if that was their motivation for picking this particular date to cut off the offset.

bootney farnsworth

December 1st, 2012
12:44 am

TRS and the state of Georgia lost that leverage long ago.

Burroughston Broch

December 1st, 2012
1:39 am

An old saying is that every person has a price, and we now know that it’s no more than $1,125 for many teachers.

How Much a Month?

December 1st, 2012
2:51 am

It would be informative to see a breakdown of the years of service and the pension payouts. Is it true that after 20 years – 9 months a year – teachers get a livable pension? Not bad.

Elizabeth

December 1st, 2012
5:14 am

Any other profession that leaves in order to avoid loss of benefits and income is acceptable. So, Mr. Broch, why are you scornful when teachers do so? What in the past few years has happened to make you think that teachers should continue to stay despite salary cuts which have already affected their retirement income? Furloughs, shortened school years, etc., have already decreased contributions to retirement. It’s not “about the kids” when teachers are the first ones to suffer the brunt of the economic downturn while others in education do not. If you want it to be about the kids, then make it about the teachers who teach them. We have a right to have a decent retirement after spending our years building the future of this state and nation by educating its young people. Why should we stay when all we get is accusations of incompetence from those who have NO IDEA what the classroom is like today?

Ronin

December 1st, 2012
6:20 am

This is just another cog in the wheel of change in government/public education. People that have spent several decades in a profession have the option to leave with a little more in their pocket every month, I can’t blame them for that.

Schools hire less experienced but lower cost workers (in most cases) so it costs them less to operate. Current employees will be grandfathered in the TRS program, but new hires will receive a different compensation package.

While it won’t happen this year or next, look for the defined benefit plan (DBP) pension for teachers and most state employees go the way of the dinosaur. People are living longer and it costs the state too much to maintain the program. It will soon become a 401k (403b) type program that matches funds for retirement and not a lifetime annuity.

Dc

December 1st, 2012
6:23 am

Teaching has gotten harder. So has every other job. Just how it is

Did it occur to those who think this is a problem for the school systems, that maybe they wanted the teachers to retire so they could bring in a new group that didnt have the perspective of “how rough it is in the classroom compared to the past”? Companies throughout america have used this same approach.

Pride and Joy

December 1st, 2012
6:33 am

Let’s do the math for Gwinnett county.
63 teachers and 7 parapros retired out of 123 employees.
Eight counselors, principals and assistant principals.
That leaves 45 more employees who left who are ADMINISTRATIVE OVERHEAD ! This is good for Gwinnett County.
We need to rid ourselves of administrative overheard. So allowing 45 administrative educrats go out the door is a good thing; however, the million dollar question is what will Gwinnett county do next?
Will Gwinnett county refill the 70 teaching positions (63 teachers and 7 parapros) or we they refill the 45 administrative educrat positions?
What they do next will determine whether this was a good thing or a bad thing.
Only time will tell.

Pride and Joy

December 1st, 2012
6:38 am

The BIG question that goes unanswered in this blog is — what ABOUT ALL THE OTHER 1584 EMPLOYEES WHO ARE NOT IN GWINNETT COUNTY?
Get Schooled often claims they report news about education throughout the country and sometimes the world, so the question begs, what about all of the 1,707 employees? Specifically, what job titles did the rest of the 1,584 have? The ones NOT in Gwinnett county?
Were they teachers and parapros or were they administrative positions?
Gwinnett County is only a tiny part of the 1,707.
Tell us the important part of the story.
Give us ALL the facts.

South Georgia Retired Educator

December 1st, 2012
6:46 am

TRS should have made this change coincide with the end of the school year, not the middle. It would have made the impact on employees and school systems easier if teachers had been permitted to finish their contract year before the exclusion went into effect. However, those educators who had planned to retire June 1, 2013 were faced with losing up to about $40,000 over their retirement life or opting for a December 1, 2012 retirement in order not to lose this money. The Employees Retirement System and three other state pension funds have also eliminated the tax exclusion benefit, but chose a logical cut-off retirement date of June 1, 2013 that lines up with the budget year. TRS refused to use June 1 like these other pension funds and thus made this mid-year event an awkward way for many teachers to end their careers. School systems had to decide what to do, and in some cases, as the AJC article pointed out, hired substitutes to finish the year. Changing teachers in the middle of the year is not in the best interest of students, as one can guess, but apparently TRS ignored sound logic and the welfare of kids.

Michele

December 1st, 2012
7:00 am

What is, once again, being ignored by the TRS and some of the posts here is that teachers do what is right every minute of the day, every week, every month, and every year of their stressful and dedicated careers. Sometimes in life there comes a time when someone says “enough is enough,” and one must make a decision based solely upon what is right for “you.” How could anyone fault a life long teacher from making the decision to retire in the middle of the year? No, it is not the best for the kids, but a teacher who has given a career of dedication to the youth of Georgia deserves the right to make a decision that helps them out for one time in their careers. With all the teacher bashing, and public school bashing that has become the mantra of the state, HOORAH for those who stood up to the system for their own personal good. Georgia is trying to kill public education, so Georgia needs to suffer the consequences of a terrible decision it made to put the teachers in such a terrible situation. How about showing the number of educators who have chosen to wait until the end of the year to retire? I will bet it is larger than those who left.

teacher&mom

December 1st, 2012
7:11 am

My district had a record number of mid-year retirements. Look for another wave of record retirements at the end of this year.

Dondee

December 1st, 2012
7:20 am

I wish I was able to retire with them! Like one poster’s moniker, I Love Teaching, But Hate What It’s Become! Thank you to those who retired yesterday for their years of service. We had one teacher retire in our building after 33 years of service. Why she did not like having to retire in the middle of the year, who can blame her for making this choice? It was retire now or wait until end of the school year and lose that benefit. I would have done so, too. And I bet you would have too!

Dondee

December 1st, 2012
7:22 am

*while….still too early!

teacherwantingachange

December 1st, 2012
7:27 am

Dc,

In a district like Dekalb, past practices allowed students to succeed. Unfortunately, any teacher new teacher in Dekalb will find that any good ideas and enthusiasm will be overcome by impossibly large classes,egregious behavior problems that may get documented but ignored, and a stream of conflicting directives.

Pride and Joy

December 1st, 2012
7:29 am

I don’t blame a single teacher for taking the money and running. No one is going to look after the employee’s interest better than the employee.
I’ve had teachers leave mid year and it was no big deal for me — because I actually got a better teacher.
Teachers get pregnant and leave, they retire and leave, kids move and leave. It’s normal.
What isn’t normal is the tremendous amount of money wasted on administrative overhead. What Get Schooled doesn’t attempt to address and the AJC article barely addresses is — WHICH particular districts are impacted and by how much? Which job titles are going out the door?
We cannot call this a disaster unless we have the facts.
If all 1,707 jobs were administrative overhead positions, most of us on this blog would cheer!
Also unknown is what will happen after the employees leave?
Will all teachers be replaced? Will all overhead employees be replaced?
We don’t have near enough facts to even guess whether this move was good, bad or indifferent.

catlady

December 1st, 2012
7:46 am

Well, said, Elizabeth and others. I gave very serious thought to doing it. I know I can be replaced, but it seems terribly awkward to leave with not yet half the year over. I work with the most educationally fragile students, and I think it would be very disruptive to them.

This was a way to save money, nothing more. No thought to continuity for the kids.

catlady

December 1st, 2012
7:47 am

Teachers could not even wait till the end of the semester, as it “takes a month” to process the retirement paperwork.

mountain man

December 1st, 2012
7:57 am

“Did it occur to those who think this is a problem for the school systems, that maybe they wanted the teachers to retire so they could bring in a new group that didnt have the perspective of “how rough it is in the classroom compared to the past”?”

With almost 50% of new teachers leaving the profession before 5 years of service, this would be an incredibly stupid idea on their part. The only reason MORE teachers haven’t left the system is because they have so much service in that they don’t want to lose their retirement. Most will retire the second they are able to. I applaud the teachers who left. FLEE! The only way the system will change is if so many teachers leave that they have no choice but to treat teachers better!

If they start bringing in Chinese teachers to make up the shortfall, parents had better get ready to take to the streets in protest. I remember having an oriental TA in college whom I (or anyone in the class) could understand. That would be a decrease in education. Even the students who CARE can’t learn from a teacher whom they cannot understand.

Batgirl

December 1st, 2012
9:03 am

Catlady is right. This is about saving money, nothing more.

We lost a language arts teacher in our building yesterday. Even after thirty-two years, she was still giving her students her all. She has required her 7th graders to read two books every two weeks and do some sort of project on each book. They’ve done traditional book reports, given book talks, created book trailers and even made dishes from cookbooks, and they are loving it. When they came to the library Thursday, several of them told me that they were afraid that their new teacher would not require them to read. How about that?

Vince

December 1st, 2012
9:10 am

I did it! I am one of the 1700+.

Why? Well, $1200 times how ever many years I have left adds up.

Also, I was profoundly troubled during budget talks in June when residents in my county and our school board refused to up the millage rate in order to avoid furlough days for employees. People screamed that it wasn’t fair to add $40 in tax to the average home and that educator salaries should be cut. This year I am making $11,000 less than I was in 2007. Over the past four years I have lost almost $50,000 in real dollars due to budget cuts. I am making $27,000 less this year than I was scheduled to make because the step increases the state passed along to me were “absorbed” by the county in order to balance the budget. If I live for another 20 years these cuts amount to a loss of $200,000 in retirement benefits.

…and yet my school board and the residents of the county opted to give me 9 furlough days this year because they didn’t want tax payers to pay $40 more in taxes?

And people wonder we we left mid-year?????

Maureen Downey

December 1st, 2012
9:33 am

@South Georgia, I don’t get it, either. I figured there was some legal compulsion that forced the TRS to set the deadline at Dec. 1. If there was not, it was an odd decision as it causes people to leave midyear.
Maureen

Tired

December 1st, 2012
9:54 am

Who can blame them?

Me

December 1st, 2012
9:54 am

Actually this happens across the country. I worked in Texas and many of the teachers retire in December. It has something to do with the contracts. I don’t blame them for leaving. As stated earlier, had this been any other occupation no one would say a thing. Most people when faced with losing money or retiring will retire. Yes you could stay for the kids, but those kids aren’t gonna take care of you when you are old with less income.

10:10 am

December 1st, 2012
9:56 am

A reader might easily conclude that the departing teachers will be no great loss.

And at the next job fair qualified applicants will in fact line up ten deep to replace them. Where else can you get 12 months of pay and guaranteed lifelong benefits—for 9 months of actual work?

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
10:35 am

Obviously the 12 month Jan-Dec financial year clock trumps the school continuity clock. Many of those leaving are the real depth teachers who deliver content, prepare kids for college, etc. In other words, good depth teaching. One teacher I know who is leaving mid-year has a couple of attributes, one is executive level sense of financial planning – very sharp, and the other is that this person has greater depth and mastery over their subject field than anyone I have ever seen in that subject field, combined with lifer classroom skills for requiring kids to learn it, so to speak. For several reasons, we are in a time when middle school kids will be getting middle ground instruction and nothing more. Reminds, years of management emphasis on “new ideas” and “access kid’s prior knowledge” in place of teaching solid fundamentals and expressing any value whatsoever of solid fundamentals. It is confronting to me when some of the management adults obviously got good training when they were young and as adult professionals are so willing to marginalize the instruction they deliver to young people. I had one administrator once confide to me that the group I was teaching, in their future life this is all they would become, as if the present was the golden hour and it was all downhill from here for the students as adults. This was much confronting to me as I have the exact opposite view of my duty / mission to awaken individuals and give them the tools to succeed. The context of the administrator’s comments was that I was demanding too much from students and I assure you my demands were moderate and sensible. I just do not get it. There is a lot of subversion of content teaching going on and students are treated as fodder.

Fled

December 1st, 2012
10:41 am

Good for the teachers who are standing up for themselves.

An awful lot of good people have had enough. They are quitting, throwing in the towel, and fleeing.

Give the people in Georgia the schools they deserve. Nothing else will matter so much as that.

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
10:46 am

10:10 AM, It is true that teachers get about 2 months off during the summer. I am not sure this is balanced by 15 hour days and working weekends during the rest of the year. Many teachers use the summer as health recovery time and I do not know of anyone who has money for a vacation to go anywhere. Summer means hide in your home and try and rest some and look at the condition of your health, try and catch up on home chores because during the rest of the year it’s not going to happen, like when you get the emails at 1pm on Sunday telling you the new extra stuff you have to do before Monday morning and then this weekend email thing from the bosses becomes routine. Lots of day, leave out 6 AM and get home 8 PM. And usually an hour or two of work at home after that. It can turn you into a zombie. Read somewhere international comparison, U. S. teachers put in about 20% more hours than teachers in other countries and are compensated less. I am not being flippant. It was all laid out, well researched. Just like with lack of healthcare distribution, the U. S. is the odd one out on many things in modern countries outside of the U. S. This place (country) is really getting backwards and deprived and the answer from the public seems to be to cheer and demand “dog eat dog” instead of intelligently looking out for their own best interests and maybe? addressing some of the exploitation that is occurring against their interests and personal quality of life. USA Monsanto is trying to force their owned genetically modified farming seeds on everyone. The rest of the world is banning the same corporate hooliganism. Same pattern. USA corporate is doing a lot of toxic stuff inside and outside the USA and to be frank about it, the general U. S. public seems about like a cow looking at a passing train. Unaware, not interested. I guess it it too much trouble to care about your own well being or the people around you. Better to get an Osama bin Laden target stickers for your truck, and then go attack a different country and connect the two as one. USA public mind is pretty deranged, has been brainwashed to be peasants. In Georgia, this is compounded by the plantation mentality and general sense of joy that people should be kept down because they do not “deserve” any better.

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
10:53 am

Fled, interesting sychronicity in both of us using the word “deserve” as we were both posting unbeknownst to one another’s comments.

Marian Owens

December 1st, 2012
10:58 am

The teachers stayed for 20 years for the children. Now they have to look at their retirement which, considering how little they’ve been paid over these 20, is going to small enough. And to make you think about how small it is going to be, realize that $1,000 dollars IS a big deal to them.

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
11:01 am

And if you receive information by email, you’re responsible for it. This can scale out to about 20 different things. It is mind boggling the amount of “extras” being placed upon teachers. It is completely crazy, like you’ve got one job teaching the kids (and have to product your own resources to do so) and another job placating the bosses who are not even troubled to acknowledge the work you do. And if you do one thing right and a parent complains, the bosses glare at you. There is a 90% emphasis on being politically “smooth” and following the outside directives. The most successful bosses are spineless and on the hot wire to implement the directives. The only thing they are interested in is their own personal survival first, and secondly to groom a workforce who can fit the pieces of the puzzle they are managing.

10:10 am

December 1st, 2012
11:10 am

@Private Citizen:

Don’t fudge the facts, please. Teachers get two months off for summer and another month off when Xmas, spring break and others unique to education are factored in.

Fifteen hour work days? Working weekends? No vacation money? Are you being flippant—or just ridiculous? The many thousands of qualified applicants who will flock to apply for those vacant teaching positions already know the answer.

Shark Punch!

December 1st, 2012
11:18 am

@ Private Citizen

I’m well aware that what you’re saying about teaching is true (I’m at a university, so my life is a little bit easier than described), but it irks me to read things like the latter half of your 10:46 posts. If there’s going to be any hope of understanding and change, ultralibs like yourself need to leave the other issues at the door. The anti-education conservatives already hate us enough without the extra left-wing baggage.

Shark Punch!

December 1st, 2012
11:20 am

@ 10:10: Typical ignorant response. Why don’t you spend some time with a teacher over their so-called “vacation” and see how that changes your tune?

TechEd

December 1st, 2012
11:25 am

“For the children.” HA! When was the last time the state of Georgia did anything for the children? “For the children” is just a marketing spoonful of sugar used to make it easier for the electorate swallow distasteful policies that in the long (and often short) run do NOTHING to support education.

The only people who truly know the meaning of ‘for the children’ are the teachers who have to sacrifice their own time and money to help their students learn the skills they need because the state keeps cutting their budgets.

Good for those educators who were eligible to retire early and did so. As others have noted, there comes a time when one has to put oneself first. If we’ve learned anything as educators in the state of Georgia, we’ve learned that GA has neither our—nor our students’—best interests in mind.

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
11:25 am

10:10 AM Why do you make it your business to harass teachers from the outside? You seem to have to such concern for your local dentist who makes $300k a year, sets their own hours and has no one harassing them in the workplace. You’re not critical of the hospital, pharmaco, and hospital administrators and their executive compensation packages. The telling part is that you do no comparison to places with high functioning systems and results and you just want to talk down to professionals and get some satisfaction from this. You are content to run off the teachers who are capable to prepare young adults to have the skills to attend medical school while there is a coming shortage of doctors in the your state. Conditions really quite low right now for teachers and we have endured five years of this and you want to pile on some more. If you think the new fresh teachers are the caliber of the one’s leaving, so be it. If there was revenue sharing between government schools, private, and charter, we could work in a civilized work environment and not have to listen to your rabble. Let me take it to the next level, but no, you’re one of these “Georgians” who is not interested. Maybe you’ll have a dream in your sleep and a vision of a producing society. Or you’ll have a appendectomy and get a $40k medical bill for it, or you’ll get old, be fully insured and still paying out $500. month for prescription medication. On a 1-10 scale of caring for your society, you can’t even get past a 1. You’re that guy who trips people up once they get on their way. You remind me of a friend of mine who is pretty wealthy, is employed by the government and yet complains about taxation all of the time. Every time I talk to him on the phone I remind him that it is perfectly acceptable to him if his neighbor dies on their front porch in place of getting medical care. Here, I have a special present just for you. Now, I am predicating this on the idea that you can read but I’m not convinced about the comprehension part. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-lewis/does-hong-kong-have-the-w_b_299907.html

Spedteacher

December 1st, 2012
11:39 am

10:10 Plain and simple on my pay – I get paid for my contracted work days, which are 182 this year instead of 190. I do not get paid for holidays, breaks, furolough days or summer which is only seven weeks now not three months. My pay is split into 12 equal payments so that I receive 12 paychecks during the year. I am not paid any overtime when we have faculty meetings, IEP meetings, parent conferences, fund raisers at athe school which we must attend, calling parents at night, going to after hour work shops to increase my knowledge. The many thousands you mention will learn that teachers are not lying about the work hours. They will learn that their education program did not prepare them for all the other things required of teachers beyond lesson plans and grades. I don’t blame the educators leaving now, I would if I could. If I could teach without the politics involved I would teach my students forever, but I am fed up with all the red tape and hoops to jump through. Go visit your child’s class and see how many students are in that room, find out how many levels that teacher has to reach and teach. Then come back and get real.

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
11:49 am

10:10 AM who has the better life, an hourly wage worker @ $10./hour who works 8 hour shifts and receives no email or outside demands of any kind, or a teacher who sees take-home pay of about $15./hour and works twice the hours and is on the hot-wire seven days a week and is considered legally accountable for everything around them in an environment with unpredictable events every day? I left out the part about spending your own money for supplies and core materials, but you can factor that in to the $15./hr. In teaching, they give you the specifications and then expect you to buy the materials to complete the job. At least for the guys with the nailguns, someone else buys the 2×4’s. There is also the autonomy aspect that teachers are required to be model citizens at all times like they’re the town preacher, including on their own time. Let me tell you a story from my early experience as a teacher in Georgia. I later learned that in some groups of students, telling the teacher “You’re racist” is pretty commonplace. So a student does the “you’re racist” routine. Well, what then happens is the administrator makes a formal hearing and gets an official from the main office and sits you down like a hearing and says “A student said that you are racist.” The hearing officer is some person from ex-military background who looks at you like the administrator is nuts. Within the year the hearing officer person leaves their position and goes to work somewhere sane where they will not be used as a tool for this type of ruse. The informal “hearing” goes by and is resolved that nothing occured but then some trash in put into your work file to “ding” you. So you have to go home with this on your plate as part of your day. PS When I had high school students who did the “you’re racist” thing, I finally figured it out and told them, “Oh okay, I get it. If I give you an assignment, than I am racist?” and after that we had no more problems of this kind. I am reporting this to you to make no particular point other than it can be an usual job and to relate to you real work condition events and “facts of life” from the ground. I wonder what you would do in these circumstances since you’ve got the perspective and answers. I think I handled it pretty well, but then knowing their is harassment garbage in your work file is another buzzkill in the dysfunctional government schools system in Georgia. If I had a union, I could task them with cleaning out my work file, but there is no union. There are fake “professional organizations” who have no power and do not look after the particulars for teachers, much less not preventing them to begin with. So teachers are wide open for this type of spam and harassment. As an individual worker, I have little to no time to address followup on this sort of thing, and additionally having to play boss to your managers and get them to stop acting like indulgent children setting little fences and traps for their workers is disheartening. I guess I could spend my summer hiring an attorney and having them clean out my work file. That is the sole way I have seen a harassed teacher get the administrators off their back is to refer the administrators to cc everything over to their private attorney. How would you like that type of work environment, where you have to defend yourself from your bosses while you are working?

Prof

December 1st, 2012
11:58 am

@How Much a Month?, December 1st, 2:51 am: “It would be informative to see a breakdown of the years of service and the pension payouts. Is it true that after 20 years – 9 months a year – teachers get a livable pension?”

Answer: only if the retiring teacher has been vested for 10 years and is over age 60. TRS retirement is allowed after 30 years of service, if the member has completed 10 years and is age 60, or after 25 years–but this is considered “early retirement” with a resulting reduction of benefits. The educator can’t retire and get pension benefits any earlier. And please remember that the educator is making TRS payments for 12 months a year, not 9.

For those (and Maureen) expressing surprise/horror that TRS allows teachers to retiree in the middle of the school year– please remember that TRS includes the entire University system of USG. It’s not just for K-12 educators. It seems perfectly fair to me that TRS allows its members to retire whenever the MEMBER chooses, for members start their vesting terms at many varying times.

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
12:03 pm

By the way, the administrator who did the “you’re racist” thing, within a couple of years they were completely thrown under the bus and run out of town on a different matter, suddenly being held “highly accountable” on such & such in a way that did not apply to their peers. In other words, in some parts of Georgia, school administration from the top to the bottom occupies themselves a lot with toying with people and doing power rituals requiring periodically burning people at the stake and feeding firewood to the dragon so it can breathe fire. I guess this sort of indulgence is the long term results of the government schools monopoly over using taxpayer money. I think there should be education tax money revenue sharing between government schools, charter, and private schools.

Prof

December 1st, 2012
12:06 pm

P.S. And I don’t know how “livable” the pension is going to be of a teacher who retires after 10 years and is age 60, for the person is going to get 20% of the average of the two highest years’ salary… and given that both K-1

Prof

December 1st, 2012
12:07 pm

(Cont.) ….given that both K-12 and USG educators have had their salaries frozen since 2008, that won’t be much.

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
12:11 pm

10:10, then has been many an evening when I came home and spent 2 hours calling parents using my home phone, usually between 7 and right up to 9 pm. You may wish to note that in Obama’s “Race to the Top” which Georgia has signed onto wholly, part of teacher work review is based on producing documented telephone records (logs) for calling parents. If a student is not doing their work, or fails a test, or is acting out in class, a teacher is expected to call the home for each and every student in these conditions. For one student, that can mean calling 5 different telephone numbers. I generally used two computers to do so, one connected to the contact numbers information, and the other for typing / documenting my contacts and notes from conversations (that I am expected to recall for each student and apply during the daytime).

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
12:13 pm

Prof, If I ever get a “pension,” I’m looking at about $400./month.

Prof

December 1st, 2012
12:19 pm

@ Private Citizen. Surely you’ll also be getting something from Social Security too?!

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
12:24 pm

Shark Punch, I’m not an ultra-liberal. I’ve simply travelled and noted that as soon as you get off an airplane, the people around you are relaxed and lacking the stress that is so commonplace in the U. S. I also note that all of Europe is connected now with health care systems. If you’re a citizen of Romania or whatever and if you’re in Britain or Spain and you stub your toe or need an appendectomy, you visit the medical facility and are covered. They’ve got it together over there. Here we’ve still got lots of “business doctors” sending people out the door with astronomical bills for basic services. Interesting how before I was a teacher I had money to travel. Sometimes I think the quickest way to go broke is to sign on to being a government schools teacher in Georgia. Literally all of your time is soaked up and the pay is moderate. Oh yes, and people who are “coach” and have no lesson planning, grading, and making teaching materials duties, these can work a second job in the evenings. Cute, that. They’ve got half the responsibilities and still have their personal time.

Cynic

December 1st, 2012
12:26 pm

And who says that government manipulation of the tax code doesn’t have unintended consequences. It is so far past time for the income tax (slavery to government) to go that it is a wonder that more people are not on board with this desperate need. From housing to investing, to retirement saving and planning, to charitable donations, to child rearing, etc. the government seeks to manipulate the behavior of its slaves in countless directions through incentives and disincentives in the tax code both at a state and a federal level. How about user fees or a sales tax (or how about a 90% reduction in government) and let us all live our lives according to OUR needs rather than the government vision of “best” behavior for society??

Freedom works if you let it.

Private Citizen

December 1st, 2012
12:27 pm

Prof, Might be all I’m getting! More like I’ll be 70 and painting houses! At least I’m a really good painter, and in Georgia that counts!