Miffed at the refusal of the state to act on pension reform, the boards of Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Evanston Township High School District 202, separately approved Monday a resolution opposing efforts to shift pension costs to local school boards “without other areas of key reform.”
For decades, the resolution stated, teachers and districts have paid into the Illinois Teachers Retirement System, from which pension benefits are paid.
“Shifting the burden of the normal cost of benefits to school districts without meaningful reforms and well aligned accountabilities will not reform the system or guarantee its return to good health,” the resolution stated.
Because districts negotiate salary and benefit terms with teachers employed by them, there is a proposal in Springfield to shift the cost of pension benefits back to the districts, a move that would place the burden on local property owners as part of their tax bills that pay for district schools.
The resolution urges the legislature to consider benefit, revenue, and governance policy options as “key components” of the pension discussion.
The resolution was also critical of the state for reducing state aid to public schools and delaying such payments, thereby “subjecting our schools to continued financial uncertainty.”