Behind the Headline: Pension Crunch for States Means Schools vs. Nursing Homes

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Pension Crunch for States Means Schools vs. Nursing Homes
8/4/13 | Washington Post

Behind the Headline
Teacher Retirement Benefits
Spring 2009| Education Next

In yesterday’s Washington Post, Robert Samuelson wrote about the tension between spending on retirees and spending on all other government services. While Detroit’s bankruptcy is an extreme example, he writes, all state and local governments face a prolonged squeeze between costly commitments to retirees and demands for services today – including schools. Overhauling state pensions may be one of the few tools states have to control costs. States may be able to cut existing benefits if they can convince courts that these overburden other public goals, Samuelson notes. “We need a better balance between workers’ legitimate desire for a comfortable retirement and society’s larger interests,” he concludes.

In a new article for Education Next, Michael Podgursky explains that school district administrators are unlikely to lead any type pension reform because they benefit enormously from the existing pension programs (at the expense of younger teachers).

In the Spring 2009 issue of Ed Next, Podgursky and Bob Costrell wrote about the high cost of teacher retirement benefits compared to those of workers in the private sector.

-Education Next

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