Storm Shows Why Georgia Should Believe In Its Teachers

Maureen Downey had a post in the Get Schooled blog from Kira Willis, who’s running for State School Superintendent. This part caught my eye. “I heard from both a North Springs Charter High School parent and a colleague about how much Willis contributed to keeping up spirits and maintaining calm.”

Willis said this about her experience: “I’m grateful for the parents who had enough faith in the team of professionals at my school to entrust us with their children during an emergency, and I would remind everyone in Georgia, especially education reformers, to believe in Georgia teachers. You know you can count on us in emergencies, so please trust us and respect us to do the right thing by Georgia’s children every other day.”

Ironically, the AJC ran this story the same day. Top-flight teachers feel betrayed by cuts.



  1. saltycracker says:

    We have many wonderful teachers while 90% of the states 115 billion dollar debt is unfunded obligations for public servants for long years after retirement in their 50’s. Address that and there should be money for work raises.

    • Ellynn says:

      The pension system of Georgia’s public servents was created and structured by the state. Georgia public servents have very little to no input into the system, unlike other states. The mess that is a $115 billion debt was created by promising state workers future rewards instead of funding the pay and benifets of the public workers when they were working. In trying to lower the tax base, we lowered the amount of funds coming into the state these future rewards for an aging baby boomer work force. Instead of adding to the fund (and raising taxes) they cut them instead. Every time the state cuts funding or rewrites pension rules, any one who can retire does, because they don’t want to lose what they current have. December 2012 had a mass exit of teachers and prinipals who had over 30 years in and were over 57. If you have served that many years, you have just 10 years in as a principal, and now have a principal level retirement that is about to be cut and you could lose almost $100,000 in retirement pay for the next 20 to 25 years, who would retire before it was restructured again. I know people in the Floyd towers who retired for the same reason. High level staff members that run departments. There was no reason to stay past 55 if they could not protect their futures.

      If the state reworks the retirement rules again, anyone who can retire this go around will, and it will just add to the current problem.

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