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Town Hall Meeting To Tackle Teacher Pension Shift

Teacher pension shifts, salary raises and Maryland's maintenance of effort requirements are on the town hall's agenda.

Ray Leone, president of the Anne Arundel County Council PTA, will join elected officials and educators Monday in a town hall meeting to discuss Maryland’s education issues.

Policymakers and more than 100 teachers throughout the state will gather in Annapolis to address public school funding, the maintenance of effort law and more. Leone said one of the biggest topics on the table will be Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed teacher pension shift from state to county governments. The immediate legislation would cost more than $240 million throughout the state.

The shift would cause Anne Arundel County $20 million alone in its first year and more than $30 million in the second year, Leone said.

“No matter what side you fall on, $20 million is just not there,” Leone said.

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold has until April 15 to complete his proposed budget for fiscal year 2013. After considering the budget sent to him by the Board of Education, Leopold will have to figure out where he removes $20 million to cover the potential teacher pension shift, Leone said.

Leone said the town hall meeting will also address teacher salary increases—something they haven’t received in more than four years.

Leone will be joined by state senators, Maryland delegates and Prince George’s County school officials, but Leone is expected to be the only town hall participant currently working or representing Anne Arundel County.

The town hall will begin at 5 p.m. Monday at the Governor Calvert House, located at 58 State Circle in Annapolis.

Phillip February 27, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I thought slots was going to fund education? Did I miss something? I'd think part of funding education is taking care of our teachers. Then again, we are dealing with elected officials who basically have a full ride pension for the rest of their lives just for getting elected once.
carl lazar February 27, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Teachers are the foundation of our future and not paying them more is a shame. There is so much waste in other parts of state and county government that can be cut a given to our educators. Politicians care about one thing and that is themselves, as soon as they get elected thier conversation goes from you to me only. Garbage collectors in New York make more then our teachers do. If you do not believe this just go on line and look it up.
Ian Moone February 27, 2012 at 05:35 PM
You believed that lie???????
Amy Leahy February 27, 2012 at 07:27 PM
The reason O'Malley wants to shift the pensions to the counties is because - and I know this will shock you - he has not been funding the teacher pensions and now doesn't know where he'll ever get the money to do it. Or just doesn't want to have that pesky little debt hanging over his head. That's why the amount is so huge that the counties will have to take on if the governor gets his way. The question also becomes, where is the money for that AND raises going to come from? It all comes from you and me…the taxpayer.
Chet Brewer February 28, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Amy, lets be fair, both Ehrlich and O'Malley underfunded the pension plan and the Maryland system leaves no accountability to the country for pay rates which just passes on the pension liability to the state. The Maryland teachers pension fund has been a lash up for the last 25 years or so. While this isn't ideal its an improvement. No just get rid of the governor appointed school boards and let the counties be truly responsible for their education it might be better.
Chet Brewer February 28, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Carl, thats kind of a hard argument given how many folks are out of work or getting pay cuts or no raises. I don't think teachers are overpaid, but they are paying for a god awful recession like the rest of us and AA country has been luckier then most in the country the last 5 years due to the large federal work force
Patrick Mondor February 28, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Who gives a flying hoot whether it is a Republican or Democrat. And to be fair Erlich singed a new law in 2006 that funded teacher benefits up to 54% of salary once said teacher put in 30 years of service. Up from 38% the year before. The pension system cost to the state of Maryland has ballooned over 34% just in the last two budget years alone! Both parties are responsible for promising way too much! I can see why the state doesn't want to pay for it. Finally, tell me again why only 15% of the private sector has pensions with companies dumping them in favor of 401k's, yet 80% of public sector employees enjoy taxpayer paid pensions? If the state can't pay for them, how can the counties?
John February 28, 2012 at 08:11 PM
If you really believe that slots are going to do anything to help local education, research Las Vegas schools and those near Atlantic City.
Amy Leahy February 29, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Well the answer to this Patrick is Senate Bill 740. It will pay for the education increases: Education Article 5-104 (D) (1) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF A COUNTY CHARTER THAT PLACES A LIMIT ON THAT COUNTY'S PROPERTY TAX RATE OR REVENUES AND SUBJECT TO PARAGRAPH (2) OF THIS SUBSECTION, A COUNTY COUNCIL MAY SET A PROPERTY TAX RATE THAT IS HIGHER THAN THE RATE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE COUNTY'S CHARTER OR COLLECT MORE PROPERTY TAX REVENUES THAN THE REVENUES AUTHORIZED UNDER THE COUNTY'S CHARTER FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF FUNDING THE APPROVED BUDGET OF THE COUNTY BOARD. The whole bill is available on the Md Legislature website.
hmj March 02, 2012 at 01:03 PM
This is the result of out of control spending by the Gov and his far left friends in the Generally Assembly. Shift the burden wasteful spending to others. Taxes are already too high on law biding taxpayers. Just say no to those Dems that want to spend more and more on welfare programs for freeloaders and deadbeats.
Amy Leahy March 05, 2012 at 04:15 PM
The legislation would empower the state to seize local tax revenue and redirect it exclusively to inflate school budgets — mainly meaning teacher salaries, pensions and benefits. It would do so even if it meant overriding voter-adopted property tax limits or raiding funds for police, fire departments, libraries, parks and transportation. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fopinions%2Fmarylands-war-on-localities%2F2012%2F03%2F01%2FgIQAgv1OpR_story.html&h=gAQEbygoIAQEexc9CVNB-WpX6Lu6yD-hCXR3fz-lgdfgr1g

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