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Tue April 27, 2010
MI teacher retirement plan inches forward
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
A plan to convince thousands of veteran teachers to retire is now before a team of state House and Senate negotiators. They are looking to strike a compromise that will save the state and school districts money, and avert a fiscal crisis.
AUDIO: Unions complain that most of the plans that have been proposed are an effort to push teachers out of their jobs by threatening to take away their benefits. House Democrats approved a measure that would sweeten the deal for teachers.
State Representative Mark Meadows.
"It was more like beat over the head and force them out the door, and I don't think that works with anybody and our plan is more of an incentive than it is a stick," he says.
Meadows says the House plan would save school districts money, even if they're forced to accept another round of funding from the state. But it would not save the state money as the School Aid Fund faces a projected $450 million deficit. Senate Republicans rejected that approach. A bipartisan negotiating committee is trying to reach a deal before an end-of-the-week deadline.