School Spending

Two Graphs on Urban Teachers and Their (Lack of) Pensions

The majority of teachers in these cities do not remain in the same district long enough to qualify for even a minimal pension, and only a very tiny fraction of teachers stay long enough to receive a pension that would be sufficient for a stable retirement.

California Pension Reform: An Interview With San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed

Will states and cities facing skyrocketing costs find a way to protect the retirement benefits that people have already earned while making changes to the way benefits are earned in the future?

Illinois Pension Reform: An Interview With State Senator Daniel Biss

Illinois recently passed pension reform legislation with robust bipartisan support. Here's how and why it happened.

Pension Reform vs. the ‘California Rule’

Cities and states faced with rising pension costs have begun to search for the most effective way to balance retirement promises made to workers with the need for fiscal sustainability and employer flexibility.

Robbing Peter To Pay Paul’s Defined Benefit Pension

The fact that Missouri’s defined benefit pension systems do not tie an individual’s contributions directly to his or her pension benefits causes numerous problems.

The Need for Good Research on Pension Reform

Rhode Island is among the few states that have enacted sweeping pension reforms. Accurate information about the effects of those changes is vital both locally and to other states deciding which changes to make to their own retirement systems.

The Big Squeeze

Without immediate action, the pension funding problem will grow worse and school districts will eventually get crushed—meaning tomorrow’s children will pay the price for yesterday’s adult irresponsibility. State lawmakers need to step up to the plate.

Signs of Judicial Sanity in Colorado

The court’s decisive ruling upholding the constitutionality of the current system will make it much more difficult to convince Colorado voters to open their wallets.

Misplaced Optimism and Weighted Funding

Liberals and conservatives alike have made "weighted student funding" a core idea of their reform prescriptions. Both groups see such weighted funding as providing more dollars to the specific schools they tend to focus upon, and both see it as inspiring improved achievement through newfound political pressures. Unfortunately, both groups are very likely wrong.

The New Worst Way to Deal with Budget Problems

Of all of the options, reducing the length of the school year must be the absolute worst – at least from the perspective of students. But California, always proud of being a leader, has written into law that this is the preferred option if districts face budgetary shortfalls.

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