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Bill by Sen. Brown would encourage older teachers to retire

Post by Katie Schmidt on Feb. 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm with 10 Comments »
February 22, 2011 2:49 pm

Under a bill introduced in the state Senate today, retiring teachers could get extra help with healthcare costs after they leave the classroom.

Senate Bill 5846, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, would offer retiring teachers $250 per month to mitigate healthcare costs, a move Brown says would encourage higher-paid, older teachers to retire and make it easier for young teachers to find work.

“Offering teachers at the end of their career a health-care bridge to retirement is way to thank them for their years of service in our classrooms, allow school districts to save money on payroll, and provide younger teachers more opportunities to begin their teaching careers,” said Brown, a Spokane Democrat, in a press release announcing the measure.

Under the bill, members of plan 1 of the Teachers’ Retirement System in the state, meaning teachers who began working before 1977, would be eligible for the monthly healthcare subsidy if they retire this summer. The payments would last from September 2011 to August 2014.

Rich Wood of the Washington Education Association, the union for public school employees in the state, said the association supports the bill, which could apply to about 5,000 retirement-eligible teachers.

With the number of teaching positions dwindling in the state, Wood said, providing retirement incentives could be a good idea.

“For every teacher who retires, that, potentially, is one teacher not getting laid off,” he said.

Under Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget proposal, state funding for teacher salary increases, class size reductions and programs such as all-day kindergarten in some schools would be cut.

Brown’s proposal comes after the introduction of two bills, Senate bill 5399 and House Bill 1609, that would have required school districts to make teacher lay-off decisions based on performance rather than seniority. Neither of those proposals made it out of committee.

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Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. Yeah, any sign of wisdom in this society is reason to retire.

  2. sixpackjoe says:

    Now for driver’s licenses! LOL jk old people! :)

  3. GiveItaRest says:

    Wow! Lisa, how do you propose to pay up to $1,250,000 a month for this obvious giveaway to teachers? We can’t pay our bills now, and you want to add this unnecessary huge expense on top of the problem. What crap.

    When you try to run for governor in 2012, you will be running from your tax and spend record that will be chasing you relentlessly. This state will not vote in a governor with your record.

  4. teachers and education must think all there students were dumb. take it
    out of the general fund or the lottery…..give me a break… pay for your
    medical insurance like the rest of us starving seniors.

  5. P>S> I forgot —————-People Just Vote No on anything conected to
    education and teachers.

  6. Soundlife says:

    Our children trail the world in math and science, and our political leadership is so happy for this that they seek to reward the teachers most responsible for this development…

  7. princessnancy says:

    Now if we could only get some of those useless state employees who have been around for decades to retire!

  8. To Princess Nancy. You mean like Lisa Brown? That’s a start.
    To Skinner. When you discuss education kindly use the correct word; i.e. “their” as in “all their students are dumb” , not “there students.” Makes YOU look dumb.

  9. pungentsound says:

    Yeah let’s get rid of all those people that are actually educated and have a work ethic.

  10. Joan Dalgarno says:

    To Soundlife:

    When you want a sound product, have you noticed you generally have to pay extra? That’s why Finland, Singapore and other countries with students scoring above the norm, are successful. Their governments have recognized that teachers must first pay their bills and provide for their families, before they can fully focus on providing a quality education for their students. If perhaps, you have a history background, you may recall that major cultures are model examples. When their people were first fed, clothed and sheltered, cradles of civilizations sprung up from the wilderness!

    If, as de Tocqueville claimed, we get the government we deserve, then more people must think like you. How reaffirming!

    American teachers are

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