• Teacher pensions may not sound like a sexy or even high-profile issue, but keep reading: they're threatening the fiscal health of many states and could cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. But the problem doesn't just end there.
  • This report uses national survey data to show that American public schools suffer from a “revolving door” where large numbers of qualified teachers depart their jobs for reasons other than retirement. The data show that nearly half of all beginning teachers leave the profession within five years. The amount of turnover accounted for by retirement is relatively minor when compared to that associated with other factors, such as teacher job dissatisfaction and teachers pursuing other jobs.
  • The authors study an early retirement incentive 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 especially in schools with more low-income, minority, and low-achieving students.
  • This paper uses administrative data from Missouri to examine how the mobility penalties affect the labor market for school leaders, and shows that pension borders greatly reduce leadership flows across schools. The authors consider the implications of their findings for workforce quality in the thousands of schools near pension borders.
  • As this paper documents, the rule structure in educator pension plans, combined with the career-cycle timing of teachers’ promotions into administrative positions, results in senior management in K–12 education enjoying the largest net benefits from these plans. Yet it is these administrators who are expected to be the professional voice for the school districts that are bearing the heavy cost of employee pension benefits.