Teacher reacts to possible pension changes

Florida Education
Posted at 5:16 PM, Apr 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-03 18:51:40-04

HAVANA, FL. (WTXL)--Teachers like Arnitta Grice-Walker are fired up about potential changes to Florida's pension plan.

"Where they say no child left behind they need to turn that around and say no teacher left behind, because we are left behind," said Grice-Walker.

The Havana Elementary School educator has been teaching in Gadsden county for 15 years. She said the state needs to do a better job taking care of teachers. She added Gadsden county educators haven't had a raise in the last seven years.

"If we have to keep adding into our own retirement and their taking out money already for our retirement, it seems like they are double dipping," said Grice-Walker.

House leaders passed a bill that completely closes the pension plan to new enrollees in 2014. But the senates plan would still give those teachers an option between the pension and investment plan.

But Andy ford, Florida Education Association said they oppose "any change" to the current plan.

"We don't see a need to change, right now the system is operating fine, its at 87% funded which is very good for a retirement plan so the state is really trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist," said Ford.

Like Ford, Arnitta is concerned about what will happen to the kids.

"Our students will not have the adequate means of an education because we'll have less teachers and if we don't have teachers to teach your children then they aren't going to get the quality of education that they should receive," said Grice-Walker.