There may not be three more yawn-inducing words in the English language than: "public employee pensions."
But considering the $53 billion dollars worth of state employee pension debt currently saddling the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, those words are at the center of nearly every conversation in Harrisburg this spring.
As politicians wage ideological warfare over the best way to deal with the rising costs associated with this debt, teachers and state workers are being targeted for major concessions.
The sharpest cuts, though, would come to the next generation of hires.
Case in point is Sophie Date. At 25 years old, she absolutely beams with excitement when she talks about teaching.
"I'm loving being in the classroom and I want to get really good at teaching, and I know that takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work," she said.
Date is about to get her master's in education at the University of Pennsylvania. Coming into the program, she was fairly certain she wanted to join the profession, but after a year student-teaching in a Philadelphia high school, she says she's found her home.