Following Gov. Scott Walker’s bill which took away a large portion of a teacher’s collective bargaining rights in the state of Wisconsin, while making them pay more for benefits, a record number of Wisoncin teacher’s have chosen to retire this year, nearly double the normal amount the state typically receives.
Reports show that teachers began filing for retirement weeks before the Republican bill was set to take effect, a time when various top level public officials also decided to accept their pensions and exit the public services field.
One teacher, Ginny Fleck of Green Bay said that after 30 years teaching she left because:
“It wouldn’t make sense for me to teach one more year and basically lose $8,000.”
If Ginny had continued to teach she would have taken an $8,000 hit to her salary under the new agreement.
Ginny is one of nearly 5,000 teachers who decided to call it quits, causing a huge experience drain on the state.
The University of Wisconsin System has also witnessed a doubling of retirements from 480 last year to 1,091 through the first half of 2011.
When all is said and done, 9,933 public workers left their posts through June 2011, while retirements for all of 2010 were just 4,876.
With so many retirements occurring at one time the Governor’s plan to cut educational expenses in the state appears to be working, the Beloit school district alone has saved in the vicinity of $920,000 from retirements, but at what cost? Class sizes will need to increase dramatically until new teachers are hired, if they’re hired at all and the drain from experienced educators can already be felt across the state.
While Wisconsin teachers have been jumping ship at record numbers, other state employees have also been tossing in the towel and calling it quits with State agency retirements nearly tripling from 747 in 2010 to 1,966 from January through June 2011.
What do you think about the number of teacher’s who chose retirement in the state?