FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 29, 2012
Contact: Julie White, email@example.com, (916) 225-8144
The Joint Legislative Conference Committee on Public Employee Pensions has issued its final report, and ACSA has concerns about the impact the proposed changes will have on public education.
Public schools have already been hit with more than $20 billion in funding cuts, and coupled with dwindling resources, the changes outlined in the report will make it even more difficult to recruit educators to serve our schools and students.
ACSA’s main concerns with the pension changes outlined in the Conference Committee’s report include the $130,000 annual cap on creditable compensation, calculating final compensation using a three-year average, increasing the retirement age to 62 and requiring a 50/50 split for employer and employee contributions.
Although the bulk of the Conference Committee’s report does not apply to current ACSA members, there are concerns that the changes will have a negative impact on the profession of school leadership as a whole, said ACSA Interim Executive Director Karen Stapf Walters.
“ACSA fears the reduction in retirement benefits will discourage skilled, talented teachers from pursuing a career in school leadership,” she said. “Research has shown that current incentives have been effective in recruiting and retaining quality school leaders.
“Top leadership posts require more training, on-the-job experience and advanced degrees and credentials, and retirement benefits should reflect that. Research has repeatedly shown that quality leaders are key to quality schools, and these sweeping changes will make it difficult to recruit educators to the profession, thus hampering school improvement efforts.
“Moreover, ACSA believes every educator deserves an adequate retirement. Educators do not receive Social Security benefits, despite the fact that many have worked in the private sector, and these reforms further diminish the financial security of our state’s dedicated educators.”