FROM THE ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE
MEDIA CONTACT: Daniel Anthony
daniel@IllinoisPolicy.org or (312) 607-4977
Illinois Policy Institute poll, debate series explores question of who should pay teacher pension costs
Debate 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14 at McHenry County College
CRYSTAL LAKE (Aug. 8, 2012) – On Tuesday, Aug. 14, the Illinois Policy Institute will host a debate aimed at exploring who should pay the employers' share of teacher pension costs: local school districts or the state.
Monday's debate will be held in the auditorium at McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake. The debate starts at 7 p.m., and is free and open to the public.
The Crystal Lake debate will be moderated by state Rep. Tom Morrison and Kevin Lyons, news editor at the Northwest Herald. The Illinois Education Association and Illinois Federation of Teachers have been invited to participate in the debate. Also invited is a member from the District 47 school board in Crystal Lake. The Illinois Policy Institute's Diana Sroka Rickert, an award-winning journalist on the topic of pensions, also will participate.
In June, this question prompted legislative talks over pension reform to come to a standstill. The results of a new poll commissioned by the Illinois Policy Institute finds that public opinion on this issue is mixed, not only across the state but across the political spectrum.
The poll found that nearly half of likely Illinois voters oppose asking school districts to pay the employer share of teachers' pension costs, while the other half of likely voters are split between indecision and favoring this proposal.
"The Institute's poll indicates that the public needs more information on how local pension accountability would affect schools and taxpayers, and that they're confused about who owns this policy in the statehouse," said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute. "To improve understanding of this issue, the Institute is launching this statewide tour to engage stakeholders and move toward consensus on much-needed pension relief."
In addition to Monday's stop in Crystal Lake, the Illinois Policy Institute is planning debate stops in Rockford, Skokie and Kane County. Debates already have been held in Quincy, Carbondale, Springfield and Decatur.
Full results of the poll are available online here: http://illinoispolicy.org/blog/blog.asp?ArticleSource=4932
The public can register for the event here: http://www.illinoispolicy.org/news/article.asp?ArticleSource=4929
Media contact: Daniel Anthony (312) 607-4977
The Illinois Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to making our state a beacon for liberty and prosperity for all citizens. As a leading voice for economic liberty and government accountability, the Institute engages policy makers, opinion leaders and citizens on the state and local level by promoting free market principles and liberty-based public policy initiatives for a better Illinois. To learn more about the Institute or review our policy work, please visit: www.illinoispolicy.org.