Teacher pensions will soon exceed education funding

In a previous post, the Illinois Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS) was shown to be a lucrative pension compared to private pensions. A new report shows that Illinois spending on this pension for downstate and surburan schools will soon exceed state aid for those schools. Excerpt: Escalating teacher retirement expenditures are siphoning away state money before it makes its way to Illinois classrooms. Without pension reform, teacher retirement spending will dominate the share of dollars available for state education funding, and...

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Public pensions lucrative compared to private pensions

A Wall Street Journal article, “Why Public Pensions Are So Rich,” uses the Illinois Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS) as its example of generous “defined benefit” plans that guarantee benefits regardless of how the plan’s investments perform versus the “defined contribution” 401K-type plan of most private sector workers, which does not guarantee a specific pension benefit. TRS officials state that since Illinois teachers do not participate in Social Security, then the average teacher’s...

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College Illinois! prepaid tuition – risky investments or Illinois Ponzi scheme?

All new investments for the College Illinois! prepaid tuition program have been suspended by the state agency running the program due to an increasing scrutiny concerning risky investments of the money that people have invested for their children’s future college tuition. In a previous post , it was shown how the State University Retirement System was making risky investments to make up for losses in the market and underfunding by the state at 43%. Now, the Illinois Student Assisstance Commission (ISAC) is confronting mounting questions...

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REA political contributions and spouse is a teacher – conflict of interest?

The largest benefactor of this year’s political contributions from the Rockford Education Association’s (REA) Political Action Committee for Education, RPACE, was Laura J. Powers, the winner of the RSD205 board of education election in Subdistrict G. Since the district was to have obtained $11.6M in concessions from the REA in contract negotiations to balance the 2012 shortfall in the budget, contributions of this size by a party to those negotiations raises questions as to a potential conflict of interest. The RPACE contributions...

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RSD205 Budget Deficit – Depends on your point of view – Condensed Version

The Rockford School District’s budget process involves a series of estimated forecasts, such as property values (EAV), General State Aid (GSA), Corporate Personal Property Replacement taxes (CPPRT), Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and a host of other variables over which the district has little control. As claimed by the Rockford Education Association (REA) in their first press conference, the district had incorrectly entered $41M in local revenue on the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) website that should have been a zero....

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