With all due respect to Peter, Paul and Mary, whose song was "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" the question should be "Where Have All the Teachers Gone?" According to the The State Journal-Register in Springfield, there has been a decline of 13 percent in the number of teacher education students since 2008. I am sure if the educational departments in other state universities were surveyed, the results would be similar.
The reason for this decline is the fact that our legislators in Springfield have made the teaching profession second class and have made those interested in this profession to seek teaching positions in other states. Recent legislation and proposed legislation has increase the time one has to put in to receive any type of retirement, along with the fact their retirement they will receive will be one that will cause them extreme financial hardship.
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In the upcoming election of 2014, perhaps the incumbents who are seeking re-election should have the title of former instead of incumbent. If you don't vote or chose to re-elect those incumbents, the problem will never go away.
We as a state, must try to keep the best and the brightness individuals to remain in this state. If not, who is going to take the place of our current outstanding educators? The choice is yours.