Rauner's SB1 Rewrite Calls On Districts To Pay Pension Costs For Newly-Hired Teachers

Aug 9, 2017

Local school districts would have to pay pension costs for all newly hired teachers if the General Assembly upholds Gov. Bruce Rauner's rewrite of the school funding plan known as Senate Bill One.

Credit Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

 

Ever since SB1 was approved, mainly on votes cast by Democrats, Rauner has promised to rewrite portions that he considered too generous to Chicago Public Schools. When he issued his amendatory veto last week, it turned out that his changes went far beyond CPS.

 

Andy Henrikson is superintendent of Mundelein District 75.

 

"The shift in pension costs of new teachers will affect districts like mine more than it will affect the wealthier districts,” he said.

 

Henrikson was one of several suburban superintendents who told lawmakers that Rauner's veto punishes schools that can't afford high salaries and therefore have high turnover rates.

 

Currently, the state pays teacher pensions except for CPS. But, under a new pension law, districts would have to pay pension costs for teachers hired after July 1. Rauner's veto cuts the part of SB1 that would give districts credit for those payments. 

 

Sen. President John Cullerton issued a statement Wednesday saying that work on a compromise continues. The first state-aid payment was supposed to be provided Thursday but cannot be issued unless some distribution plan is approved. Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, did not specifically mention a vote to override the Republican governor's amendatory veto.

The Illinois Senate has scheduled a Sunday session to deal with the veto. The House is scheduled to meet next Wednesday.

  • Illinois Public Radio's Dusty Rhodes and The Associated Press contributed to this report.