Letters to the Editor

Letter: Solution to retaining teachers isn’t tough

I appreciate that the state is trying to do something about the teacher recruitment and retention problem in Alaska. However, there is no reason to pay $300,000 for someone to come up with a plan. The retirement math speaks for itself. If you are in Teacher Retirement System Tier III, not only will you not get any state pension, but you also don’t get Social Security. This is a double-whammy on a person’s retirement.

It is no wonder Alaska has a hard time recruiting and keeping teachers. At least you get Social Security if you work in any private-sector job. In addition, the windfall elimination provision stops interested professionals from seeking a second career in teaching after they leave their first career, because they will lose one-third of the Social Security they have already earned by becoming a teacher in Alaska in Tier III.

Our Legislature created this disincentive for TRS Tier III and PRS Tier IV employees in 2006. There is no need to continue throwing money at researching the problem. The Legislature needs to fix the mess it created and make it financially viable for teachers and public employees to stay here. The facts haven’t changed for 15 years.

Anne Adasiak-Andrew

Anchorage

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