Will the teacher's retirement system break the state of Pennsylvania financially?

Will the teacher's retirement system break the state of Pennsylvania financially?

That's a question posed in a story on our front page today.

There's no question the system is straining the pocketbooks of taxpayers.

Don't blame the teachers for this one. It's a system set up a long time ago and for many years it worked.

But a stock market crash and plummeting investment income has put a strain on the program. That means the taxpayers are going to be more and more responsible for this system.

The problem is only the lawmakers in Harrisburg can fix the system.

And they are hesitant.

Who could blame them?

Those lawmakers have a very sweet deal when it comes to retirement, as well, so their incentive level is quite low.

That needs to change.

The state lawmakers not only need to address this issue, it needs to be the top priority. The state could go bankrupt if this program is not fixed, but the incentive does not seem to be in place to get anything to happen.

Many residents of the state probably don't have a clue how much strain is being put on the state's taxpayers to fund these programs.

That would not be surprising given the complexities of the funding which includes Wall Street and other financial institutions.

This, too, needs to change.

The people need to get involved and make their voices heard. That is the only way that lawmakers are going to get the message.

Until that happens, they will continue to give lip service and say they want the program fixed, but actual legislative action will not happen.

We encourage all residents to find out about these programs and let those in charge know your feelings. That's the only way it will change.