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Action alert: The Great Pension Diversion

Take Action. Now!
Ending school pensions is a huge diversion - and a really bad idea!
Ending school pensions is a huge diversion - and a really bad idea

Take Action!

Nothing up my sleeves!

Dear friends,

It's budget season in Lansing, and there are some important issues that need to be settled about school funding. But, as any good magician knows, the key to a good trick is to keep your audience's attention focused someplace else.

For that flashy bit of distraction, we have the wrong-headed effort to end the school pension system at a cost of more than a billion dollars a year for the next four decades. Right now, legislative leaders are not only insisting on closing the state public school retirement system (MPSERS) to new hires, but have cut off budget negotiations with Gov. Snyder because of his continued opposition to the retirement changes.

Even if the bills (HB 4647 and SB 401) were to fail, they still serve as a fantastic distraction while backroom deals are made on the budget. And if the bills pass, it will hang a giant weight around the necks of our public schools for decades to come. Win-win!

So, just to save everyone time, let me just offer up the letter I would write to them as a parent - and it's available to you, too, if you like, in the attached action alert. But feel free to write your own. Here goes:

Dear legislator,

As a public school parent, I'm really disturbed by reports that this strange rush to change the school retirement system will cost our schools billions over the next decades. State economists say that it would cost more than $46 billion over the next 40 years (in today's dollars). That works out to $780 a year per child, on average, and more than $10,000 over a K-12 school career. Who will have to bear these costs? Our children?

Parents want strong, stable schools which can attract and keep top notch staff. How does closing the retirement system help our kids?

Just a few years ago, your colleagues passed a law changing the retirement system to a hybrid model, which is apparently fully funded and working well. They decided back then that closing the old system entirely was way too expensive and totally unnecessary. Has anything changed? Why on earth would we do something so damaging to our public schools?

Please work with Gov. Snyder, focus on passing a good school aid budget, and drop these harmful bills in the "circular file."

Thank you.

Please contact your legislators today!

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