Lawmakers are proposing a range of new tax hikes as a “compromise” solution to the state’s budget woes. But simple reforms to Illinois’ teacher pension system are a better way to fix the state’s finances without hurting taxpayers.
Palatine-area Community Consolidated School District 15 is once again a hotbed of debate, as the school board that recently tied taxpayers to a 10-year union contract has now approved a $130 million building referendum to be placed on the November ballot. Before voting, residents need to take into consideration the school board’s history of closed-door decision-making, as well as the substantial economic impact the referendum could have on local taxpayers.
Many educators are wary of a strike’s hardships and long-term consequences for students, their families and the educators themselves. These teachers can remove themselves from CTU authority and the conflict between union priorities and students’ needs.
Chicago Public Schools officials had an opportunity to enact serious reforms addressing the district’s dire financial condition, but they instead opted to further burden Chicago taxpayers without offering any change.
More realistic investment return assumptions by the Teachers’ Retirement System mean Illinois taxpayer contributions to the fund could rise by hundreds of millions of dollars. Ending teacher pension pickups would alleviate the burden on Illinois taxpayers.
The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System’s adoption of more realistic investment return assumptions would cause the system’s unfunded liabilities to grow by about $6 billion above their current $62 billion level.