School Finance

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Can California Teacher Pensions Be Distributed More Fairly? (Research Report)
Richard W. Johnson, Benjamin G. Southgate

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System has been grossly underfunded for the past decade. State policymakers have responded by cutting plan benefits for new hires and raising teachers’ required plan contributions. These changes, however, have undermined teachers’ retirement income security. Only 35 percent of new hires will receive pensions worth more than the value of their required plan contributions. Most new hires would have better financial outcomes if they could opt out of the mandatory retirement plan and invest their contributions elsewhere. Additional plan reforms should focus on changing the benefit formula to distribute pensions more equitably across the workforce.

Posted to Web: December 05, 2014Publication Date: December 05, 2014

Policy Brief: How Will Teachers Fare in Rhode Island's New Hybrid Pension Plan? (Summary)
Richard W. Johnson, Barbara Butrica, Owen Haaga, Benjamin G. Southgate

Hybrid retirement plans that combine defined benefit pensions with 401(k) type, defined contribution accounts can play important roles in the reform of public-sector pensions. Summarizing results from our longer report, this brief shows that most public school teachers in Rhode Island will earn more retirement income from the state’s new hybrid plan than they would have earned in the former stand-alone defined benefit plan. However, teachers with at least 25 years of completed service, who account for only one-quarter of the total employed by the state, will fare worse in the hybrid plan.

Posted to Web: May 30, 2014Publication Date: May 30, 2014

How Will Rhode Island's New Hybrid Pension Plan Affect Teachers? (Research Report)
Richard W. Johnson, Barbara Butrica, Owen Haaga, Benjamin G. Southgate

In 2011 Rhode Island replaced the stand-alone defined benefit pension plan it provided to state employees with a hybrid plan that reduced the defined benefit component and added a 401(k)-type, defined contribution component. Although controversial, the new hybrid plan will boost retirement incomes for most of the state’s public school teachers. Our simulations show that two-thirds of newly hired teachers will earn more retirement benefits under the hybrid plan they would have earned under the old plan. Defined contribution plans—the dominant employer-sponsored retirement plan in the private sector—can play an important role in the reform of public-sector pensions.

Posted to Web: May 30, 2014Publication Date: May 30, 2014

Improving Access to Prekindergarten for Children of Immigrants: Building Relationships (Fact Sheet / Data at a Glance)
Julia M. Gelatt, Gina Adams, Sandra Huerta

Children of immigrants can benefit from attending prekindergarten, though they enroll less, on average, than children with US-born parents. This fact sheet focuses on strategies for building trust and good relationships with immigrant parents and for designing immigrant- and ELL-friendly programs. It is one of three factsheets, all drawn from Supporting Immigrant Families’ Access to Prekindergarten. This detailed report draws on interviews conducted with more than 40 prekindergarten directors and staff, directors of early childhood education programs, and other specialists to present strategies for improving prekindergarten enrollment among immigrant families and English Language Learners.

Posted to Web: March 19, 2014Publication Date: March 19, 2014

Where Kids Go: The Foreclosure Crisis and Mobility In Washington, D.C. (Policy Briefs)
Jennifer Comey, Michel Grosz

The ripple effects of the foreclosure crisis have created increased instability for children and families. In this brief we focus on two such sources of instability in the lives of public school students in Washington, D.C.: moving homes and switching schools. We find high rates of residential and school mobility for students in general, and even higher rates associated with students who lived in buildings that entered the foreclosure process. These mobile students tended to stay in the same neighborhood or move to areas that were similarly poor and high-crime. In this policy brief, we make a series of low-cost recommendations to school districts and nonprofit housing counseling agencies in order to minimize the harm of additional instability on children.

Posted to Web: June 06, 2011Publication Date: May 25, 2011

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Source: The Urban Institute, © 2012 |