Responding Responding to the economic crunch, the Utah Legislature has been discussing extending retirement age and reducing benefits for state employees, including teachers.
This is for a state ranking sixth to last in the United States for teacher pay.
Granted that state employees, taken as a whole, seem to take up a whole bunch of the state expenditures, and teachers seem to take up a whole lot of that. But consider what we are being paid for: a high-tech, highly-paid, academically-oriented, test-driven, duty-heavy job that extends–for many teachers–far past the work day as we grade papers, prepare lessons, chaperone, take kids on field trips, supervise club activities, and on and on.
Then we retire.
If there is a group deserving excellent retirement benefits–or at least the benefits that have been established in our state since 1910–it would be teachers. Cutting budgets and raising revenue are hard tasks, but for heaven’s sake, don’t take the easy route and cut what seems to be high expenditure but isn’t. It’s just taking basic care of a powerful resource in a state full of children needing care and education.