Check out the last week’s article, “How state pension subsidies undermine equity,” published in a leading journal for professional educators. It makes what the authors seem to think is a novel point. Pensions in many states, they say, are “anything but equitable,” and they single out Illinois. From the article:
Specifically, when the state government pays district pension costs, this can have a massive distortionary effect on the distribution of state education dollars, threatening to undermine (and, in at least one state, completely negating) other efforts to achieve equity between rich and poor school districts. We’ve found in our own research that although state pension subsidies receive limited public scrutiny, they’re a major source of inequity in school finance.
The topic “has have been left out of conversations on school finance. It is time for that to change,” says the article.
My colleagues John and Ted last year published here a special report on just that topic as it applies in Illinois. Read it. You will find more detail than in the recent article.
“Equity,” today, is among the education establishment’s favorite buzzwords. When it comes to pensions, however, equity has been for “thee and not for me.” And when we’ve written about inequity and other problems with pensions, some in that establishment have called us “pension thieves,” “racists” and more.
Glad to see at least that one journal in the teaching establishment finally recognizing the issue.