Laws are need to protect teachers, children

Sept. 26, 2011 at 4:26 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Some financial advice to those seeking a career in education within the state of Texas: The laying off of thousands of teachers this year is by no means the beginning of legislative arrogance that has crippled our educative system here in Texas. Not only are recent graduates ousted from their profession, retirees who could fill critical needs positions (and there are many) are also prohibited from teaching.

In fact, since 2005, the state legislators and TEA sanction severe penalties on school districts for filling critical needs positions with qualified teachers, hence mandating the use of substitute teachers with absolutely no experience in the subject area. Little do these laid-off educators know that if indeed they do choose to return to teaching, any Social Security benefits they amass in the workforce will be confiscated by the state (only in Texas). Once retired, all TRS teachers who continue to work are REQUIRED to pay into Social Security. Texas lawmakers, however, were sure to offset the loss of Social Security income for policemen and firemen by raising the state retirement contribution. Ron Paul has introduced bill after bill to rescind such legislation and reimburse the monies "stolen" from retired teachers.

I have written other legislators and Rick Perry on numerous occasions and have yet to hear from any of them. Rest assured, more laws are sure to follow - few, if any, will reflect the needs of the teacher and child.

Kim Thornsburg, Victoria



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