Negative impact of teacher rollbacks
To the Editor:
Maine teachers should not be used as a scapegoat for the State of Maine budget woes. Let's have an honest debate of what the real issue is.
Many American businesses, in their quest for profits, have chosen to outsource manufacturing, which comprises the American middle class, our taxpayers.
Our Maine teachers make a respectable living and have earned a modest retirement. In no way is this outlandish or excessive, like the governor hinted.
If we are to compete and win in a world economy, we need to retain and attract our best and brightest educators. They hold the key for any chance of competitiveness that we may have in a global economy. Maine currently ranks 15th from the top in the National Student Achievement. Now is not a time to discourage professionals from staying in and entering the teaching field.
As citizens of this state, our collective goal should be to race to the top, not the bottom. Rollbacks in teacher retirement and health insurance will have an adverse impact on education. Many of our teachers will exit public service and head to the private sector, where a compensation package will be greater. Also teacher recruitment would see negative results.
Teachers already pay 9.1 percent of their salary to Maine State Retirement and Medicare. By comparison, the private sector pays 7.65 percent for Social Security and Medicare.
Let's encourage our governor to work with our legislators to produce a budget that does not adversely effect our teachers and students.