Wylie RSE members Tami Nauyokas and Charlotte Tassan with Dodd Elementary students for the Echo Program. Photo by Sherry Sumerlin
For the first time in almost 20 years, retired public school employees will have a chance to receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) provided Texas residents vote “yes” at the polls in November.
Texans will cast votes on 14 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution in the Nov. 7 election. If Proposition 9 is approved, granting teachers a COLA, teachers who retired before 2001 will get a 6% adjustment. Those who retired between 2001-2013 will get a 4% adjustment and educators who retired between 2013-2020 will get a 2% adjustment.
Teacher Retirement System of Texas pensions are the primary source of income for most of the state’s public school retirees, many who are not eligible to receive Social Security.
“Let me tell you what happened to me this morning,” said Judy Brewster, legislative chair of Wylie Retired School Employees (WRSE), addressing members at the nonprofit’s first monthly meeting of the school year Wednesday, Sept. 13. “I drove through the McDonald’s drive-thru to get a coffee and when I got up to the window the lady asked, ‘what’s Proposition 9?’ because she looked at my [Vote for Prop 9] button.”
After hearing how it would positively affect public school retirees, Brewster said the McDonald’s employee naturally agreed to vote for Proposition 9.
“That’s driving through McDonald’s” she said. “These buttons will work. Don’t go home and lay it on the dresser. That doesn’t help, McDonald’s people can’t see it.”
Proposition 9 has virtually no opposition, and it will not create a tax increase, but many Texans have never heard of the proposal.
By Jeremy Hallock | jhallock@webmaster
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