To the 63 out of 103 legislators in the Alabama House of Legislature, especially those who represent St. Clair County, and to all politicians who obviously do not care anything about public education: I’m a retired teacher of 38 years, and I can’t believe the disrespect for public education and educators you have shown.

Retired teachers sacrificed much of their personal lives for the education of children in this state, and you repay that dedication by not voting on a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for over 5 years. Many retired teachers never came close to the national teacher’s average during their time at work. Even today a teacher with over 30 or 40 years of experience only makes about $10,000 more a year than a brand new teacher. 

In today’s education, you also need good teachers for our children, but you will not get them without giving them a decent salary and reasonable insurance costs. A mother told me before I retired this year that she would not waste her money by paying for her very intelligent and talented daughter to get a college degree in education. I don’t blame her. 

Don’t give excuses because there are none; it’s simply shameful. We are all tired of politicians who shake hands and smile and pat each other on the back and get their picture in the paper and express "genuine" concern, and then basically do what they please, not what is right and fair for the educators and children in the state of Alabama. 

I hope I live long enough to see when the children in public schools who have witnessed this injustice toward themselves and toward their teachers will one day become legislators and show all 63 of you, plus others with similar attitudes, what it is like to be a true representative of the citizens and not just a "good ol’ boy (or girl)" politician.


Brenda B. Simmons, Margaret