The Southtown has a Phil Kadner column about the negative effects (more later than soon) of shifting the burden of paying teacher pensions from State government to local school districts.
He missed one aspect that some may find significant. I explain that puzzle piece in the following comment I left under his piece:
Phil Kadner writes, “You paid tax money to fund the pensions. But your elected leaders chose to spend the money on something else.”
But he leaves out who encouraged the legislators to spend the money elsewhere.It was the teacher union lobbyists.
When I was looking at budgets, there was a section for education.
It was divided into three parts:
- k through 12
The pressure was always to increase State Aid to Education.
The reasoning (not stated publicly, I dare say) was that with higher financial assistance, teacher salaries could be raised, which, in turn, would increase teach pensions.
Kadner’s comments about Mike Madigan’s proposed pension shift deserve wider dissemination.
He points out,
“Chicago finances its teachers’ pension system, the argument goes, and Chicago taxpayers also contribute to the system for teachers outside the city.
“What Madigan and the other Chicago politicians don’t say is that Illinois’ education funding system always has been rigged to shift more money to the city.”
He continues his chain of logic:
“The goal is to spread the cost shift over so many years, 10 to 15, that school districts won’t initially object and taxpayers won’t care.
“The cost initially will be a small fraction of your local school district’s budget. But over time those costs will compound and eventually amount to billions of dollars.
“It’s very similar to the scheme the Legislature used to drive the pensions systems to near collapse.
“By the time the financial crisis hits the school districts, the lawmakers today no longer will be in office. No one will remember who is to blame.”