Social Security benefits for longer work hours - McKee's offer for teachers

Social Security benefits for longer work hours - McKee's offer for teachers

CUMBERLAND - Mayor Daniel McKee is suggesting Cumberland teachers need a new contract that would begin to phase in a longer school day - up to 400 hours a year.

In exchange for working on longer hours, teachers would be given the added retirement benefit of the federal Social Security program.

Currently they rely strictly on the state pension program, he said.

McKee has been expressing general support for stepped-up school funding in recent years, but has been couching that with the caveat that it should buy "more classroom time."

Asked to clarify this week, he offered compensation in the form of the added retirement benefit.

McKee has first-hand knowledge of the Social Security void experienced by teachers since his wife, Susan, is a retired Cumberland teacher.

"Obviously there is more information needed and buy-in would be required from teachers and school administration. But the end result would be more student learning opportunities," he told The Breeze.

Currently, Cumberland is charged an extra 2 percent in its pension payment to the state because it doesn't offer Social Security. The 2 percent would help offset the added cost, McKee suggested.

Teachers in only 14 of the state's 37 school districts, including Pawtucket, North Providence, and Woonsocket, are covered by Social Security, according to the Rhode Island Association of School Committees.


The only time that I asked about longer school days, I was told that it was not possible, due to the BUS SCHEDULES! I cringed at the thought of my child's educational experience being affected by such a seemingly minor detail. My argument for a later dismissal time arose initially from the kids waiting for the bus in the dark on a very busy Diamond Hill Road. It was a SAFETY ISSUE that could be fixed by simply implementing a later start time and lengthening the day accordingly. The school administrators looked at me like I had "two heads". I further supported my argument by pointing out that students and parents would be better served if dismissal was later in the day. closer to when the "work day" ended. Again, no support...In the recent years, favorable results have been achieved in other places by letting students sleep in and stay later in class. It's not a hard concept to understand. This is only 1 situation that tells me and many other parents that while the schools are regularly telling us that our children are their top priority, it is pure malarkey and hogwash. If the teachers' union made a quality education their top priority, most of the teachers would find new jobs.