Stories continue to show harmful impacts of health-care costs

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to Speak Out! and tell your stories on the impacts of low pay and high health-care costs for school employees. We’re still collecting your stories, which you can submit here.

We’ve gotten several responses from legislators, which also are posted online next to each story (although we’re still waiting on about two dozen responses.) You can find the archive of stories here, and rest assured we’ll be reminding legislators about these accounts when the next legislative session begins in January.

Here’s a couple samples from today’s stories.

I have been teaching for 27 years now. I make about $5,000 more than my daughter, who is a first-year teacher in the Dallas area. I did not go into teaching to become rich. However, I did not take a vow of poverty. $1,500 is taken out of my check every month for insurance and TRS. I’m contributing to my former coworkers, now retirees, with that small tax. But they are being ripped off with their health-care benefits. I’m tired and angry. I can never afford to retire, but they make it harder and harder for us old dogs to stay in teaching. They don’t want to pay my so-called “big salary.”

–L.F.

After 23 years of teaching, I’m saying goodbye to a career in education. It’s a sad state of affairs when educators can’t even afford to help their own children attend college. Every year I’ve lost money due to high insurance costs. Our pay is $6,000 below average, and we keep getting told to do more with less.

–Paula Cook