Dear Vermont State Legislators,
We, the undersigned, Vermont parents and community members stand against the current legislative proposals to gut public pensions of public school educators and state employees. Public education is the bedrock of our communities and our democracy and any efforts to undermine public educators ability to retire with dignity negatively impacts our future. Public school educators and state employees contribute their fair share to their pension in every paycheck, as such the pension funding shortfalls are entirely a result of the decisions of Vermont policy makers to underfund it and to make irresponsible investment decisions.
Given we have just had one of the most difficult years educating our students and serving our communities in the middle of a pandemic – one of the worst health crises in our country’s history, this is no way to treat Vermont public educators and public employees. By gutting their retirement system, you would be undermining our communities’ ability to recruit and retain high quality educators and public servants. Additionally, an overwhelming number of Vermont educators and state employees are women, and these actions would only further exacerbate the gender inequities in compensation and would amount to a giant step backwards for gender equality.
As taxpayers, we are simply asking you to do the right thing – use some of the massive one-time funds now available and find equitable ongoing revenue streams to sufficiently fund these public pensions, and fulfill the commitment we have made to our public school teachers, education workers and state employees.