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Our opinion: Not a hostage, is it?

January 28, 2013

In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer last Thursday Gov....

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Jan-28-13 8:34 AM

Of course, education is a political pawn. That's the way our system is set up. The governor and legislators are ELECTED. They belong to POLITICAL parties. There's nothing more sacred about education than, say, nursing homes or county jails. All are necessary services, and one cannot be abandoned to save the others. Would you have old folks dying in the streets or drugged-up robbers on the loose? Can't educate kids under those circumstances. The reality is that unless retired and current teachers agree to pension reductions, classrooms will suffer. There is no more money.

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Jan-29-13 12:47 PM

The reality is that retired and current teachers have always paid an average of 7% gross salary into the pension fund with some now paying in 10% of salary. It was the legislators who saw to it that the state and school districts (districts which had no choice in the matter, by the way)paid 0% into the pension fund some years during the last decade because they thought the investment returns would always increase as wildly as they did before the tech bubble and the recent collapse.

Which is a point that ought not be lost when discussing 401k-type plans -- when the economy is at its worst, 401ks will be down and people will wait to retire.

This is bad because teachers and others who would have otherwise retired and saved the district alot of money in both attritional savings with lower salaried replacements and younger employees with lower healthcare costs, will not retire at the time it would benefit districts most.

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