"Stop wasting money and pay teachers," says teacher Rosa Mendoza to the Miami-Dade County
Rosa Mendoza, a teacher, was looking forward to retirement, but because the "grandfathered steps" were illegally removed, she has not been able to enter retirement. Here she refers to retirement as "DROP" or the Deferred Retirement Option Program.
Many teachers, who are quietly accepting what is being done to them, do not understand what Rosa just explained. That is, the removal of the "grandfathered steps" not only negatively impacts teachers' income during their working years, but it also affects their pensions, including social security - for the rest of their lives.
The Florida Retirement System (FRS) calculates a public employees' pension payout using the average of the highest five years during an employees' working years. Since the highest years of income Rosa, along with many other teachers, anticipated, as Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said, "magically" disappeared, the retirement income payout is also drastically decimated.
Veteran teachers and new teachers have no idea just how much they are being driven into poverty.
I continue to ask myself: "Where are the teachers?" "Where is their outrage?" "Why aren't there more teachers protesting?"
I hear "fear" is a reason.
But, what can be worse than being driven into poverty?
Losing your job?
Maybe - at this point - losing your teaching job - because you took a stand - may actually prove to be a blessing. If nothing else, it may allow you to file a harassment lawsuit against the MDCPS Board which will yield more money than what you would otherwise earn.
What is being done to teachers is not the problem as much as the fact that teachers are not doing enough to stop the politicians who are abusing them.
In order for there to be a victim, there must first be a person willing to be victimized.