The letter "Teacher pension math 'disingenuous' " [March 31] shows how little the public knows. The pension system has six levels. At one time, there was a single level, and salaries were very low. When I started teaching in 1956, truck drivers working for my father-in-law earned four times as much as an entry-level teacher with a master's degree. To attract teachers, New York City and New York State promised reasonable pensions. Years later, with the advent of teachers unions, salaries rose, and pensions as a percentage of salary fell.

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In addition, teacher contributions to the pension system went up. New teachers are expected to pay more into the system and work longer to collect their pensions. These details are often unreported. As a result, the public does not get a true picture.

Joseph Marcal, Commack