To the Editor: After understandably hearing from many teachers recently, with serious concerns about the pensions they've been paying into for decades, I am hoping the following will offer up to date, helpful information.
First, though, I want to thank you all for all your years of dedicated service to our children.
Our children are our future and their education is the key to that future.
As I like to point out, when I hear someone complain about the cost of education: The kids of today will be taking your blood pressure tomorrow - and don't you want them to have the best education possible so they're able to do that accurately?
As for the current pension snafu; please know what is being publicized is NOT from the Legislature, it came from the state treasurer and what the treasurer suggested is NOT a done deal.
Releasing a suggested solution that is now being perceived as a done deal, was not helpful. It only left teachers feeling even more set upon as they try and continue teaching through the pandemic.
I will certainly be advocating against such actions. I believe we have to be faithful to the educators who have been paying into their pension for these many years and have also given so many years of dedicated service to our kids, families and communities.
Our schools are our community centers in Vermont, and our communities are at the heart of the quality of life that makes Vermont the best place I know of, to live in, work, raise a family and retire to.
The best next step is to bring together all the stakeholders in this situation and find a solution that is derived from all the pertinent stakeholders.
That process needs to be comprehensive and deliberate and will take time.
The governor has proposed bridge funding in his 2022 Budget for the pension system. That gives us the needed time to work a thorough process and find a solution to this problem that isn't hurried and has all stakeholders at the table - as it should be.
Hope that helps,
Vermont State Representative
Windham4 District- Putney, Dummerston, Westminster