Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Markkanen: Celebrate teacher appreciation week by letting them keep their pensions
RELEASE|May 7, 2024

State Rep. Greg Markkanen on Tuesday called for Lansing Democrats to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week in Michigan by ditching their plan to raid the teacher retirement system.

“Claiming to show appreciation for teachers the same week you force a vote on raiding their retirement system is nothing short of ironic,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “Genuine appreciation for teachers demands more than lip service; it requires a commitment to safeguarding their futures and respecting their hard-earned benefits.”

Responsible budgeting by past Republican leadership resulted in the Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) system, which provides retiree health insurance, nearing 100 percent funding. However, the Michigan Public Schools Employees’ Retirement System (MPSERS) remains drastically underfunded by over $24 billion. Despite this, the governor and House and Senate Democrats plan to bankroll their own pet projects by shifting money away from the teachers’ retirement system.

Markkanen serves on the House Appropriations Committee, where committee Democrats have ignored Republican efforts to pass school safety legislation. Those same Democrats are now expected to support a budget threatening teachers’ financial security.

“Teachers across our state, especially in the Upper Peninsula, have already lost faith that Democrat leadership would ever deliver on school safety measures. Now we know what’s taking so long. While schools are still unsafe, Democrats were too busy planning how they would drain teacher retirement accounts to fund their own radical agenda,” Markkanen said. “Teachers would give Democrat leadership an F if the governor hadn’t already outlawed letter grades.”


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