Ed Week recognizes 16 visionary leaders, including a Georgia school chief.

Education Week recognized Murray County Schools’ Superintendent Vickie Reed as one of its 2015 Leaders to Learn From.

The magazine looked at hundreds of nominations, and chose 16 “forward-thinking leaders based on how they have enacted and inspired change in our nation’s public schools.”

It recognized Reed for her leadership in giving students a voice in district decisions.

Reed explains her philosophy here:

Reader Comments 0

17 comments
MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

I urge every reader of this thread to listen to the videotape in which this outstanding Superintendent, Murray County Schools’ Superintendent Vickie Reed explains her philosophy.  I agree with her thinking.  She says, "If students like you, then they are going to learn in your classroom and discipline will be better, too."  Everyone knows when they are loved and valued.


I offer my apologies to Superintendent Reed and to Ms. Downey for redirecting the subject of this thread to SB 152.  I did so only because this bill just surfaced and I believe it is very important to all public school teachers in Georgia that this bill not be passed.  Now, I hope the focus will return to Superintendent Reed.  She has well-deserved being recognized by "Education Week" for her excellence and her commitment to genuine learning, with joy.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Paragraph from the GAE link I provided, below, regarding SB 152:


"Members enrolling in TRS after December 31, 2016 will automatically be enrolled in the 401K plan. However a member shall have a period of 90 days from enrollment to withdraw from the plan, and the member's account balance will be returned to him/her. Thereafter, participation shall be voluntary. If the member rejoins, he/she may not withdraw from the plan so long as he/she is eligible to be a member."

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

I'm a retired member of TRS, and checked their website for information on SB 152. It creates a hybrid retirement plan for those hired after Jan. 1, 2017, between the TRS defined benefits plan and a state 401K type of plan. This possibility was discussed during the last legislative session, so it shouldn't come as a complete surprise. In addition, there will no longer be a COLA for retirees, nor can unused sick leave count for service credit. 


Remember that laws pertaining to retirement can only go into effect the second year after approval. Check the TRS website, "Legislative Update," 2015 legislation, at:


http://www.trsga.com/uploads/Legislative%20Update%2002.23.15.pdf

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Wascatlady @OriginalProf 

It ain't passed yet. This attempt was made last year but tabled. Please remember that a great many of the University System of Georgia faculty, and all of the USG staff, are members of TRS. They will fight this, as will the Executive Board of TRS.  The main thing I think is to get the word out so that pressure may be applied.


At least it seems that this will be optional, not mandatory, for new hires. And let's admit it-- there have long been complaints among some public school  teachers that they never had a choice. Some do prefer a portable retirement plan, especially given the figures showing that many public school teachers quit after the first 5 years. USG faculty always have had a choice within 30 days of hiring: either TRS or a 401K plan with investment options offered by the USG. But Georgia law says that all public school employees must sign up with TRS.


Of course, the great drawback for those of us who are TRS members is that fewer public school employees may join, weakening the TRS financial reserves. And the state's contribution will go to the 401Ks rather than to TRS. If this bill passes, it will be bad for TRS. 

Let the lobbying begin.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Wascatlady 


Wascatlady, I must refine your comments above to state, "The Republican legislators and Republican governor is determined to eviscerate TRS."


This is a national Republican goal. It is not a national Democratic goal,

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf @Wascatlady


From the GAE link, I provided below are these words:  ""Members enrolling in TRS after December 31, 2016 will automatically be enrolled in the 401K plan."  One can read the exceptions in my link.  Don't kid yourselves.  This has been the Republican political plan for at least 5 years.  They are simply taking its progression in "reasonable" stages.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@OriginalProf Yet another blow to the teaching profession in Georgia.  The legislature/governor is determined to eviscerate TRS.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Wascatlady @OriginalProf 

I had a long reply earlier, which evidently evaporated.  To repeat...


It ain't over yet. At least the change to the hybrid retirement plan will be voluntary for new school members, not mandatory. The legislature and governor seem to want to squeeze as much money out of a rock as they can. If passed, this bill will hurt TRS because there won't be as many contributing members to its financial reserves, and the state won't be making contributions to TRS for the members who elect the 401K.


But remember that there are more than Georgia's public school employees in TRS. There are also the faculty and staff of the University System of Georgia. They are going to be noisy opponents of this Senate bill, as will be the TRS Executive Committee, quite effective in the past.


Let the lobbying begin.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf 


"The legislature and governor seem to want to squeeze as much money out of a rock as they can."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


It is more than this, although that is part of it.  The picture is much bigger.  The national Republican ideology is to have everyone take care of his own retirement, medical care, and not have the government involved in "pooling" individual benefits together, such as Social Security, Medicare, and state teachers' pensions.  One reason that teachers can presently have retirement until they die is because all of the teachers in the state of Georgia have "pooled" their individual retirement money together to invest together those individual monies to be the TRS retirement funds collectively, which essentially takes care of its own growth through investments.  There is little chance that the individual 401K monies of individual teachers will take care of their individual retirement funds until they die, because those funds will be isolated from the larger group.  The Republican plan for Medicare is to have Medicare vouchers and Social Security 401Ks also, in which every individual must take care of his or her old age him/herself.  The problem is that the pay for middle and working class people rarely is enough to take care of one's old age as an individual loner.


About 15 years ago, I heard Hillary Clinton say that the Republicans are going after the state employees to take their benefits away from them, and that is not right, she said.  It is the ideology of smaller and smaller government, but we can see that the middle and working classes are falling further and further behind through this ideology because their proportion of pay is a factor that is not equitable in our modern, interconnected society. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Thank you, Maureen and Original Prof. 


I just came back to this site to state that one of the two Republican sponsors of this bill, State Senator Fran R. Millar, is a member of ALEC and is on ALEC's Education Task Force. (I believe this bill represents a national trend, not simply in Georgia, regarding state employees' benefits.)  The other Republican sponsor is State Senator Hunter Hill, a recently arrived legislator.  The Democratic sponsor is State Senator Curt Thompson.  Hunter Hill's e-mail address is Hunter.Hill@senate.ga.gov.  His telephone number at the Capitol is 404-651-6768.  Hill's name appears first on SB 152, as its sponsor.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

MES:  Please repeat the link you give, since it's cut off here as the first blog entry.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@OriginalProf  Here is her comment, which appears in full on my screen. Will check on why first comments are clipped.



LEGISLATIVE ALERT to all public school teachers in Georgia, retired and active.  GAE does not support SB 152 regarding the teacher retirement plan for teachers after 2016. Georgia's present TRS is one of the most financially stable retirement plans in the nation and this bill, sponsored by two Republican legislators would dramatically change the TRS.


From the link below: "SB 152 changes the current TRS plan, which has been cited as the best and most fiscally sound retirement plan in the nation. GAE opposes this legislation."



http://pv.gae2.org/content.asp?ContentId=4385

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@MaureenDowney @OriginalProf 

Please check, for this seems to be routine on all the AJC blogs. The final sentence of the first post is clipped off, without any option for "Reply" either.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

LEGISLATIVE ALERT to all public school teachers in Georgia, retired and active.  GAE does not support SB 152 regarding the teacher retirement plan for teachers after 2016. Georgia's present TRS is one of the most financially stable retirement plans in the nation and this bill, sponsored by two Republican legislators would dramatically change the TRS.


From the link below: "SB 152 changes the current TRS plan, which has been cited as the best and most fiscally sound retirement plan in the nation. GAE opposes this legislation."



http://pv.gae2.org/content.asp?ContentId=4385