Mary Carvalho


I have been a teacher for 34 years. Most of my career was spent in Cumberland R.I. We were one of the lowest paying communities in R.I. Many years we froze our salaries or received a 1% raise which did not even cover the increase in the medical benefits. We were told that all would be made up with the state COLA. I retired in 2008 and waited the three years for my first COLA payment which I received in 2011. After that COLA ended. I have been a widow for 11 years and was told I could not collect my Spousal benefit from Social Security because of the GPO ( Government Pension Offset). I also worked partime and paid into Social Security and was told that I could not even get my full Social Security Pension because of the WEP (WindFall Elimination Program). All the years I taught in the Elementary I used my own money (hundreds of dollars) to purchase many teaching materials to improve my students' learning experiences. I do not believe anyone would want to choose a teaching career knowing what awaits them when they retire. This injustice inflicted on the Teaching Profession is a tragedy. I only hope that you can find some way to change what has happened to the Teachers who gave so much of their lives to give our most precious children a better future.

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