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Legislative - Action Alert - April 22, 2010 (Followup on Merit Pay)
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Legislative Action Alert!

End Run on Merit Pay?

Posted April 22, 2010 11:00 am

Thanks to your response to our legislative alert on “merit pay” passing in some form or another (or attached to another bill in an attempt to end run the process) we are hearing that legislators are very reluctant to approve this proposal. They have heard from you and your colleagues around the state. Keep up the good work!

Our view is that the proposal in its present form is unacceptable. There has been no significant and broad based educator input. See our note on the “survey” being used to support the legislation by clicking here

Not only has there been no thoughtful, deliberative and inclusive process as this proposal was developed, but given the current financial situation our state is in, there is not sufficient funding to properly support K-12 education, much less fund a parallel and costly “merit pay” salary schedule – without taking salary dollars away from the current salary schedule which the state’s Race to the Top application for federal funds acknowledges.

Given the situation that national board teachers have experienced (and the lawsuit we are currently pursuing) educators across the state have good reason to doubt the political and financial commitment of the state to any salary proposals offering incentives or additional salary.

Now is not the time for a “merit pay” scheme brought forth in the waning days of Governor Perdue’s final term.

If you haven’t already done so, contact your legislators and let them know how you feel on this critical issue. They are in recess until Tuesday, April 27 and will conclude their business on Thursday, April 29. As you may know, the last few days of any session can be very dangerous as desperate supporters of unpopular legislation seek to attach it to more popular bills as they move rapidly through the legislative process.

“Dead Peasant” Proposal Still Lurking

When you contact your legislators about “merit pay” you may also want to caution them against supporting legislation which would require state retirement systems to purchase life insurance policies on its members – policies which would pay out to the state when the member of the retirement system dies. This type of legislation has been dubbed “dead peasant” for obvious reasons, but we don’t believe that the state should have a financial interest in your personal well being, nor do we believe that our retirement systems should devote financial resources  to paying insurers large premiums.  The whole idea seems repugnant to many who have contacted us, and we hope you will share your views on this rather odd proposal when you contact your legislators.

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