Letters to the Editor

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TEACHERS: Don’t penalize retire/rehirees

Letter by Richard Dary, Allyn on Dec. 1, 2011 at 11:11 am with 27 Comments »
December 1, 2011 1:27 pm

I am in my 36th year of teaching. I retired in 2005 and thought I would take advantage of being able to retire and start getting my retirement, which I worked for 30 years to earn, and then be rehired and earn a regular check.

It had worked out until this past summer when the Legislature decided to limit the number of hours a retired teacher can work to 867 (until about March) before their “previously earned pension” is stopped.

I don’t understand how they feel that will save money, nor do I see why teachers should be the only ones punished. I have heard of many people who have retired from the military and start getting their pension only to begin a new career (many times with the goverment) with a new retirement and they are not limited.

As a retire/rehire, I was finally able to earn a six-figure income. Now the state has taken that chance away from us retirees. In many professions, hiring an experienced person is highly sought after – except in education.

The legislators seem to talk out of two mouths. They say they want “qualified teachers,” but let’s not allow a “qualified, still-enthused teacher” to earn much money. The teacher’s union needs to lobby against this new law and let us retired but still excellent teachers finally get paid what many say we should have been paid.

Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. Hayseed says:

    All state employees are governed by the same rules. If you want to continue teaching, don’t retire or if you want to continue teaching go teach in a private school and or a community college.

  2. However, I had not thought about the point Mr. Daly makes about military retires. Why should some careers be able to retire then get a new career?

  3. Fibonacci says:

    I don’t think the state is really saving money. Whether it is the retired teacher or another, there is a salary to be paid. With the retired teacher the district has to contribute nothing to the retirement.

  4. LarryFine says:

    How does double dipping help the young college grad looking for work teaching Rich ?

  5. igotdabombfool says:

    When you retire from the service you are retiring from the Department of Defense. Normally when you start working for the government you are then working for another branch of the government. You are changing careers and jobs. Not retiring and then working the same exact job again.

  6. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    It’s called double dipping. Teachers and ferry workers scam the system. Not any more.

  7. cclngthr says:

    I agree. Teachers who “retire” are double-dipping. If it were me running things, I would forbid retirees from being rehired anywhere in the school system. Once they retire, they are permanently barred from being hired in that system.

    Military retirees do not go back in the military after retiring. They go to a completely different job.

  8. jrd: “I had not thought about the point Mr. Daly makes about military retires. Why should some careers be able to retire then get a new career?”

    As a military member, when you enlist or receive your commission, you understand your contract. You may be ordered to kill people, or put in places where most of the locals would kill you in a heartbeat given the chance. As a reward, you’re offered a half retirement at twenty years or a three quarter at 30 years. You cannot re-enlist at that point. If you want a full retirement, you have to stick around.

    Going back to teaching after retiring as a teacher is nothing less than ripping off the taxpayers, and I can’t believe this dude is so out of touch that he actually writes a letter to the editor. Half the people in the country can’t afford to pay attention, and he’s whining about not being able to steal more money from people living paycheck to paycheck. Merry Christmas, Richard.

  9. I guess everyone else took the wind out of my sails on this one.

    This screwy, greedy letter writer can go blow smoke! Frankly, part of me thinks this letter was written just to stir up the masses! No one could be dumb enough to think this characters “plight” was something to support!

    As far as even daring to compare teacher retirement, to military retirement…..Dont even try to put it in the same league with the military!!

  10. …..with all that experience with youth, maybe this teacher could go to work at McDonalds and be the in house mentor to all the kids in there working the night shift!

  11. well said Dcr628 I agree with you

  12. In response to IG yes some military do retire then go right back to work for the dept of defense doing the same job. had a friend retired from military on a Friday went back the following Monday same job, same office, same desk. happens a lot.

  13. harleyrider1 says:

    Congratulations on your long-deserved retirement, Richard.

    Yes, you can continue to work anywhere you can get hired except back teaching full-time. Had you wanted to remain in teaching, you should have. Hindsight, but then 36-years is enough, isn’t it?

    That said, you are educated and you understand why the “double-dipping” jobs had to go away. It didn’t just happen to teachers.

    Meanwhile, Lowes, Home Depot, are hiring as well as others. Also, take an ad out and hire out as a private tutor. Good luck. Enjoy your retirement – you deserve it.

  14. WTraveler says:

    Retire, rehire of teachers and school administrators was a necessity some years ago because of the shortage of teachers and administrators, but that shortage no longer exists and the legislature did the right thing in curtailing it. At this time college grads are having difficulty finding a job in the teaching profession.

    I spent 20 years in the Army and after retirement, went into public school teaching and I can tell you there is absolutely no comparison. I could talk for hours justifying my military earned retirement, but it serves no purpose here. Suffice to say that I believe I was a better teacher after a 20 year military career then I would have been had I gone into teaching out of college. The military prepared me for teaching far better then the teacher’s college I attended.

    And yes, having worked in the Pentagon I’m aware of “some” military retirees going directly into Dept. of Defense jobs, but rarely does one work the exact same desk–the example given was certainly the exception rather than the rule.

    To the original poster, I can only repeat what has already been recommended–get a job at a school outside the state school system.

  15. igotdabombfool says:

    ohmymy – Except that same job doesn’t involve being ordered to kill somebody with rifle or go attack a building. Yes, there are soldiers who transition into the same job that they had before. Usually you work for the DOD while in the service and then work for say the DOA when you get out.

  16. LarryFine says:

    Another difference between military and civilian… deployment orders.

  17. spotted1 says:

    The military is being paid by tax dollars. They are paid by tax dollars when they “retire”. They are paid by tax dollars if they work for another branch of the government. Why are they allowed to double dip again? Pay them at 65 like most other people.

  18. commoncents says:

    How one earned their pension is irrelevent. It’s not “double dipping” in either the teacher’s case or the military retiree’s case. Double dipping implies being paid from the same well. And in this case it’s clearly not as one is paid from a trust and the other paid from tax coffers. The fact that the trust is funded from tax coffers is irrelevent.

    That being said, I don’t believe that the rules should be different for public sector (teachers AND military) than for private sector employees. I can’t retire from my employer, begin collecting my pension, and then go back to work with that employer – even if I’m in a different job so neither should military or state employees.

    Also, the state is being harmed by this…just not as significantly as people think. If they weren’t to hire Mr. Dary at the top of the pay scale then they would be hiring a teacher fresh out of college at the bottom of the pay scale. So the true lost amount is the wage/benefit differential. Now the question comes up…is there a benefit to experience? yes, but only up to about 8-10 years. After that there’s no significant improvement in performance.

  19. Ponderer says:

    I’m a retired teacher, too, I must admit, which is why this letter caught my eye.
    It’s almost scary how virulent some of these comments are! It makes me wonder what bad school or teacher experience you folks had to make you so angry. It also makes me wish that your feelings could somehow be channeled to make the whole school experience more positive for current and future students.
    I would ask you to try. The great majority of teachers I’ve known are doing their best with what they have, and I mean with both the resources they have and also the students they have. Anyone who believes the American myth of everyone being created equal has never looked closely at all the variety of students in school today and, more tellingly, the various homes from which they come. There are some really wretched people out there; do you imagine that their kids respond to education like good, stable families?
    But to the point of this letter: I think Mr Dary (not Daly), while perhaps preaching to the wrong choir, has some valid complaints. For one thing, there is, in fact, a lot of talk about qualified teachers. No Child Left Behind demanded them. So, in a fair market place, if a retired teacher wants to keep doing it, and if that candidate is the best one, why not?
    People retire for many reasons. Many keep working at something; why not the work from which you retired?
    But I think the last thing I want to say to all is, Please, please try to do something For schools, not To schools!

  20. cclngthr says:

    Taxpayers pay not ONLY your wage, but also your pension (through paying taxes based on negotiated pension plans). When you are “rehired”, you are doing the exact same job while receiving your pension. You are receiving a wage, plus retirement benefits.

    Taxpayers feel that they should only pay for one thing at a time for one employee, not 2 separate things. This is more costly than the taxpayer only paying 1 thing to the employee.

    Why retire when you are going back to the same job? In my mind, you are getting paid twice for the same job.

  21. PumainTacoma says:

    Richard Be glad you can retire and get a pension!!!

  22. lylelaws says:


    Your whinning amounts to nothing more the old “All the other kids did it, Mom.” reasoning.

    Why should you be paid a total of consideribly more for doing the same job? The Legislature simply closed a long overdue loophole, and the same should apply to all governmental retirement programs.

    I taught in Tacama for nearly thirty years, and after I retired I worked at several jobs to make ends meet, but I never once considered trying to double dip as you did.

  23. Ponderer wonders, “It makes me wonder what bad school or teacher experience you folks had to make you so angry.”…..

    Well Ponderer, let me take a stab at this. Among ALL professions, I dare say that teachers are the loudest, most prolific whiners in the country. We constantly absorb a barrage of baloney about how teachers work SO hard, and sacrifice SO much, yet get SO little respect. Join the club!

    I dare you to show how your profession is any more challenging than anyone else’s!

    To put it bluntly, a good percentage of the public is, well….just plain SICK of you people and your problems!

  24. itwasntmethistime says:

    This letter is so dumb I think it was intended to be satire. He’s got to be pulling our legs.

  25. Ponderer says:

    Dcr628, are you proving my point? What happened to you in school, or to a child of yours, to make you so angry? You said “Join the club!” What club? Do you not get any respect either?
    I won’t take your dare to prove anything about teaching because, sadly, I’m pretty sure your mind is already made up.
    I will say this: in the logging community where I live, sometimes I have made the point that you can’t make good lumber out of a bad tree, but the public seems to expect teachers to make successes out of kids from some pretty flawed backgrounds— parents who are drunks or druggies, for instance. It is not the kids’ fault what their parents are! But the schools have to deal with those situations. Sometimes it is pretty impossible.
    Teachers have to deal with a lot of people who are hard cases.
    Teachers and schools have to try and make up for a lot of flaws in society. Kids come to school without breakfast and have to be fed. Almost half of our kids get free or reduced price lunches and breakfasts. It has been this way since long before the recession because parents just don’t want to bother feeding their kids. It has nothing to do with finances; they are hung over or passed out or just lazy.
    And that’s just One thing schools and teachers deal with.
    Test scores: schools are supposed to reach certain goals. The teachers are supposed to make it happen, but how much of a kid’s progress and ability can a teacher control? Parents don’t always sit the kid down to do homework. Some could not care less. They leave it all up to the schools, and by doing that, they show the kids that education is not of value.
    Maybe they are like you.
    If teachers whine, it’s because hey have good reasons.

  26. igotdabombfool says:

    Ponderer –

    How come teachers also never accept the fact that some of them just suck at their jobs? Teaching a child is a dual partnership between the teachers and the parents. Something that both sides don’t want to acknowledge when they BOTH fail.

  27. Ponderer says:

    You have a point. The picture that comes to my mind is the teacher, with 20-30 kids, and the parent, with however many they have, probably less than 20. Some parents do great. Some do best maybe by staying out of the way. Some are definitely a negative.
    Teachers: you know, people complain about bad teachers and they complain about unions that allow bad teachers to keep teaching. But there is a system in place to remove bad teachers. It depends on administrators doing their jobs. I am not a fan of administrators as such, but I know that some of them, also, have a lot of responsibilities and duties put on them. Maybe they just do not have the time to observe and do what they should do to remove a poor teacher.
    On a more positive note, they could help a teacher to become better if they were able to provide that kind of leadership and assistance.
    Boy, we got off the track on this!
    I think a lot of people would like for schools to be perfect and turn out perfect students. It probably is not going to happen, but each of us should try to do what we can.

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