Changes to teacher retirement come at a high cost to students, schools

For Immediate Release
June 15, 2017

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@mlpp.org
517.487.5436

LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on the House and Senate passage of legislation to change the state’s school employee retirement system. It can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President & CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

“These changes to the school retirement system (SB 401 and HB 4647) passed today do little to clear up the state’s fiscal picture while clouding the future of our students, teachers and schools. These bills still come with significant short-term costs and more importantly, do not resolve the broader concerns about the state’s financial obligation to school retirees in previous plans.  At the same time, the League believes that a strong educational system is the key to economic recovery in Michigan. Highly qualified, experienced teachers are the foundation of a high-quality education for children, and this new system will make it even harder for schools to attract and retain teachers and encourage longevity.

“Michigan should be doing all it can to keep top teaching talent in the state and in the classroom. Our state’s dismal national ranking in education—41st—is because of underfunding education and other harmful policies, and we clearly need to put more emphasis on improving Michigan schools. In that regard, today’s bills get failing marks.”

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.