• In our new report, “Benefits Take Larger Bite out of District K-12 Budgets,” we analyzed U.S. Department of Education district finance data from 2005 to 2014. In particular, we looked at overall elementary and secondary education spending and instructional spending, as well as the corresponding benefit spending. The results are alarming. Districts spending on benefits is growing at a much faster rate than their overall education spending. As a result, fewer dollars are making it into the classroom.
  • Statewide defined benefit pension plans, which today serve 90 percent of public school teachers, were originally justified on the grounds that pension plans were ideally suited to the needs of long-term female employees. They had all-or-nothing provisions such that a 19-year veteran got nothing, but a 20-year veteran earned a comfortable, although certainly not lucrative, retirement. Over time, teacher pension plans have improved somewhat, but they are still heavily tilted toward long-term employees.

  • Gender- and race-based differences in salaries among educators in Illinois translate to significant disparities in estimated retirement wealth.
  • In two complementary reports, we look at the intersections of gender, race, and compensation among teachers and other educators in Illinois and Nevada.
  • Teacher pension funds across the country are in trouble. They are hundreds of billions of dollars in debt. To make ends meet, many states have raised the vesting period and increased how much teachers have to contribute to their retirement. Despite these changes, state pension funds fail to provide all new teachers with sufficient retirement benefits.