September 2016

The Census Bureau’s annual Public Education Finances compiles total education spending and revenue across the entire country. The latest data, released earlier this summer, shows teacher benefits continue to eat away at school budgets.
A new organization called the Retirement Security Initiaitve (RSI) is trying to help state and local governments improve their pension systems.
Shirley Ben-Ami was a teacher for nearly 35 years. She taught fourteen and half years in the New York City Public Schools and spent the last 20 years in Montgomery County, Maryland. In the following interview Ms. Ben-Ami talks about her experiences in the classroom and when it was time for her to retire.

Pension legacy costs can restrict the amount of resources available for current public education and make it more difficult to attract and retain high quality teachers. Oregon provides a useful case study in pension legacy costs because many school districts in the state are now reallocating General Fund expenditures to cover sizeable past pension promises. This paper first describes how Oregon’s past pension promises, as compared with nearby Washington’s, affect the level of resources available to compensate new teachers.

A former teacher, Kevin L. Matthews II is a licensed financial advisor, author, and speaker. We reached out to Kevin to hear more about his decision to leave the classroom, and how teachers can best prepare for retirement.
Change isn’t easy, and the large-scale shift from defined benefit pension plans to 401k-style plans has had its bumps and missteps. A new report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) helps document how that transition is going.