Resolve to Be Active
We’re well into the new year, and I hope you’ve been
keeping to your new year’s resolutions. If you didn’t
resolve to become active with GAE-Retired, I hope
you will resolve to do so now. Our quarterly meetings
offer an opportunity to meet with other retirees who
feel passionate about public education and retirement
issues such as the Teachers Retirement System and
Our January meeting program brought us all we
needed to know about Social Security from the field
office. We had lunch together and prepared for our All
Members Conference on March 29. These meetings
are a great time to catch up with friends and have
Resolve now to attend our March 8 GAE-Retired
meeting at the GAE headquarters at 100 Crescent
Center Parkway, Tucker, Georgia, in the fifth-floor
boardroom. Our working lunch is five dollars, and we
have a dynamic program planned as well as attending
to the business of GAE-Retired.
Also, I hope you’ll resolve to participate in GAE Day
at the Capitol on February 21 at the Sloppy Floyd
Building and the Georgia State Capitol from 9 a.m.
until 3:00 p.m. We’ll have the opportunity to hear
from key legislators, have lunch together and “work
the ropes,” lobbying at the Capitol on issues related to
public education and the retirement system.
It’s not too late to make and keep
new resolutions for 2019. Join us!
The voices of retired educators are
needed — now more than ever!
Toni Smith, President
Public education is the key to an informed and
productive citizenry. It provides not only learning but
also many services that students and communities
need to reach their potentials in a diverse and
interdependent society. Without public education, we
would not have a mostly literate country where people
can communicate their ideas and bring their dreams
to fruition. As public-school educators and educational
support professionals, we have played a vital role in
making our society one that holds on to the dream of
equity for all citizens.
Now is the time for us to re-double our efforts to
advocate for and support public education. With
the legislature still in session, we can lobby for the
legislative priorities voted on by GAE delegates to the
Representative Assembly. Among these legislative
priorities are the following:
• improved salaries for certified
personnel and a salary schedule
• benefits and living wages for
education support professionals
• full funding of public schools
• full staffing
• full calendar and fully funded early
• improved retirement benefits for
all public-school employees and
maintaining the defined benefit plan
• fair evaluation procedures and
a greater voice for educators in
decision-making to improve public
You are invited
to attend the
next meetings of
the GAE Middle
The defined benefits retirement plan of the Teacher
Retirement System (TRS) of Georgia is one of the
soundest in the country, ranking in the top third, and
must be protected from misguided legislators who
want to substitute private sector programs for the
tried and true plan. The cost-of-living adjustments
(COLA) for retirees must be protected; many Georgia
educators do not receive their full social security
benefits, and the COLA is the only thing that ensures
that their retirement income somewhat keeps up with
the increasing costs of maintain independent living.
We need competitive salaries for educators in Georgia
in order to attract and keep the best and the brightest
in the field of education. Our educational support
professionals, who make teaching and learning
possible, deserve living wages and competitive
benefits, and a retirement package that will allow them
to retire with dignity and independence.
Fully funding public schools will allow school systems
to maintain a full 180-day calendar, maintain optimal
class sizes, and provide the resources needed for
excellent teaching and learning. With fully funded
schools, early career educators will have the materials
and support they need to keep them in the profession.
Having early career educators stay in the profession
is critical as veteran educators reach retirement and
teacher shortages grip the state and the nation.
Our nation’s free public education system is one of
our greatest investments. As retirees, our calling
should be to continue to demonstrate our passion
for the system and push our policy makers to keep
the needs of the children we serve AND all education
employees in mind as they make the decisions that
shape that system. Stay in touch with all your elected
representatives — local, state, and national — and
make sure that public education is on their minds as
they make decisions about the allocation of resources.
We are the daytime faces on the front line: SPEAK UP;
SPEAK OUT; BE HEARD!
Toni Smith, President
Saturday — 11 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Ole Times Country Buffet • 1343 Gray Hwy. • Macon
Open to ALL GAE members!
For planning purposes, please RSVP by the Wednesday
preceding the meeting.
sponsored by Georgia Association of Eductors–Retired
For further information
GAE-Retired President Toni Smith 404.539.8660 or
24 | KNOW • Volume 17 Issue 1