Early Retirement Incentives and Student Achievement

Maria D. Fitzpatrick and Michael F. Lovenheim
Publication Date: 
August 2013

Early retirement incentives (ERIs) are increasingly prevalent in education as districts seek to close budget gaps by replacing expensive experienced teachers with lower-cost newer teachers. Combined with the aging of the teacher workforce, these ERIs are likely to change the composition of teachers dramatically in the coming years. The authors study an ERI program in Illinois in the mid-1990s to provide evidence of the effects of large-scale teacher retirements on student achievement. They find the program did not reduce test scores; likely, it increased them, with positive effects most pronounced in lower-SES schools.