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Get in the Game




Remember the game of Life? You’d start with a little plastic car, and as you made your way along the gameboard, accumulate pink and blue pegs and piles of pastel-colored cash. If you were lucky, you’d wind up retired in Millionaire Estates; even if you weren’t, there was always Countryside Acres.

Of course, that’s not the way life really works. Ask West Virginia teacher Sandy Gay, who stands to lose more than $1,000 a month when she retires because of an ill-advised change to her state’s pension system. Or Texas secretary Rae Nwosu, who can’t afford health insurance and is still paying for a nearly four-year-old emergency room visit.

But they and other educators across the country are fighting to preserve their benefits and win professional pay—a starting salary of at least $40,000 for teachers and a living wage for education support professionals.

Pennsylvania teacher Sherry Dellaposta stood firm during a draining contract impasse. Kentucky bus driver John Boggs went to school board members and the public to share just how little his co-workers made. You’ll hear their stories and others, starting on page 24. They made a difference, and so can you.

Editor Mark Toner

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March, 2007