There are two things that we Southerners are famous for: our aversion to snow and our propensity to speak in endearing clichés. Saturday Night Live produced a pithy little skit poking fun at both. Stay with me, folks; you’ll understand this post soon enough.
On February 23, 2015, while we were all heading for home and stocking up on the essentials of bread, milk, eggs, and “beverages,” Senator Hunter Hill and Senator Fran Millar’s Senate Bill 152 was set to read. In essence, this bill takes away Teacher Retirement System (TRS) for any new teacher hired after December, 2017. I won’t bore you with the numbers, but if Georgia wants to have teachers who are the best and the brightest, giving them the short end of the stick is a road paved to hell, even though the good intentions are questionable.
The Universe has a lovely way of telling people things, and our friends Senators Hill and Millar may want to take heed.
On January 24, 2014 Senate Resolution 782 was read in the Senate. Guess what happened on January 28, a mere four days later? Snowmaggedon. You know, that day when children were stuck on buses for hours and teachers stayed at school and took care of the young people whose parents couldn’t get to them? Yeah, that Snowmaggedon. With SR 782, Young Senator Hill wanted to mess with not only active teachers’ retirement, but also that of all retirees in Georgia. Since those retirees were already home on January 28 with their bread, milk, and beverages, they gave down the country pretty quickly. I am fairly confident that the four sponsors of SR 782 had headaches from all of those phone calls.
When the teachers actually got home from spending the night with other people’s children, the phones started ringing again. The resolution never made it to the floor, and teachers thought that it was dead and cold in the ground. We thought Hill and Millar read the writing on the wall, or in the snow as the case may be, and were going to leave well enough alone. Senators Shafer, Mullis, Bethel and Jones dropped that thing like a hot piece of corn bread, but Hill and Millar? God love them. These boys were counting on the fact that even a blind dog finds an acorn every now and again, bless their hearts.
Senate Bill 152 dropped and was read on February 23 this year. This time, the Senators left off the retirees and only included those of us who are still teaching children. I guess these Good Old Boys figured that since the retirees don’t have a dog in the race, the bill would be fine and dandy. Teachers were in school, so Senators Hill and Millar thought they are sitting in high cotton, right? RIGHT???? Well, on February 24, 25, and 26 these fine gentlemen got another think coming. Why? SNOW DAYS! Sorry Senators, but you got caught with your pants down. Teachers got wind of your shenanigans faster than two shakes of a sheep’s tail, and we were pretty hacked off at the news of your silly little bill. Teachers don’t sit around like bumps on a log even though that seems to be the general gospel for y’all up there in the Dome.
What do teachers do all day “trapped inside” while Satan’s Dandruff swirls around us? We get on social media. What did we find on social media February 25? Lord have mercy, we found A LOT! The news of SB 152 spread like wildfire, and Hill and Millar were in the middle of it all…again. Young Senator Hill’s bill dropped at the worst possible time…again.
I think that it’s Jesus’ way of saying, “Boys, that dog won’t hunt.” Next year may be snow free, but teachers have been bitten way too many times by these gentlemen, and we are a little shy of what might happen less than a year from now; we will be burning the midnight oil to ensure that these boys keep their dogs in the shed, their foxes out of our hen house, and their fingers out of our retirement pie. Senator Hill and Senator Millar will soon realize that the sun don’t shine on the same dog’s tail all the time.
I hope that these gentlemen will actually speak to those who have reached out to them; otherwise, they are in for a very rude awakening from a sleeping giant. Hill and Millar may want to talk with former Governor Roy Barnes about the power of the teacher’s vote. They can take that to the bank.