Pension shift plan would cripple most downstate Illinois school districts
1 year ago By Anthony Brino, Illinois Statehouse News
The Quincy School District has 437 retired personnel receiving pensions; 100 of them have pensions in excess of $60,000 a year
SPRINGFIELD — Wealthy school districts in Illinois receive less state funding than not-so-wealthy ones, except when it comes to teachers' pensions.
Taxpayers are subsidizing teachers' pensions in wealthy school districts, according to a report released by the think tank, Illinois Policy Institute.
The issue of shifting pensions costs has created strange bedfellows.
The institute's report comes after Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn voiced support for making school districts pay for more of teachers' pensions.
The report says that local school districts should take over the state’s share of teachers pension funding.
"Today, every unit of government — from municipalities, to park districts, to Chicago Public Schools and state government — is responsible for paying the 'employer share' of pension costs,” said John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute. “Only in K-12 education outside of Chicago is this not done."
Shifting the state’s pension costs to the local school districts would cost, on average, 3.7 percent of the district's annual budget.
There are 437 retired teachers and administrators in the Quincy Public School district who are receiving pensions and 100 of them have pensions in excess of $60,000 a year.
Click here to access the list of Quincy School District pensions on openthebooks.com. You need to input 'employee data', 'pensions' and 'public school teachers', then click continue. You can search the list of Quincy retirees by going to employee data and go to 'Quincy' on the drop down.
So just the top 100 out of 437 amounts to more than $6 million annually. The Quincy School District budget is $73.2 million.
Currently teachers pay about 9.4 percent of their salaries into the Teachers Retirement System, which the state matches, with districts paying less than 1 percent.