Wednesday Column Reprise
Note from Dan: While I’m on vacation, I’m treating you to some oldie-but-goodie columns from the past. This one ran April 22, and after it I was deluged with letters from teachers around Virginia.
To: Public schoolteachers
From: The commonwealth of Virginia
Thank you for your service. You do an amazing job. Every school day, you expand the minds of children who want to be taught, and gracefully handle the young hellions who don’t.
You’re working many nights, too, coaching school athletics, grading papers or writing lesson plans, while the rest of us watch “Dancing With the Stars” or “American Idol” or shows about commercial fishermen in Alaska.
You take pride in understanding that education is about the future. Quite literally, you’re preparing the minds of the people who will be leading this commonwealth in the decades to come.
For all of the above, the taxpayers of Virginia owe you a big, fat “thanks.” So give yourselves 150 pats on the back as we segue into the not-so-pleasant subject of your pensions.
Everybody knows that when you signed up for this educating gig, it wasn’t for money or glory. There’s precious little of either in being a public schoolteacher. It was much more about your noble desire to shape young minds.
But you took a bit of comfort in the knowledge that after 30 or 40 years of teaching, you could retire on a half-decent pension that was provided for you. You would never live like a Mega Millions winner on that, but at least you wouldn’t starve. Every so often, you could afford to buy a used car, or go out to dinner at Pizza Hut.
Sorry, but we’ve horribly screwed up on our end of the pension bargain.
READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN HERE.