FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAY 24, 2023 CONTACT: Amy Dowell | Amy@edreformnow.org
House Passes Bill on Per Pupil Teacher Pension Inequities
ERN CT Applauds First-Of-Its-Kind Legislation
May 24, 2022—Last night, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed Substitute for Raised H.B. No. 6880, An Act Concerning Assorted Revisions and Additions to the Education Statutes—including a section that establishes a task force to study the "per pupil equity of funding of the Teachers' Retirement System." This concept, which drew several inquiries, was borne out of a 2021 report by ERN CT and the Equable Institute. It uncovered how Connecticut’s state-level financing of local teacher pension obligations results in inequitable education spending. In response to the bill’s passage, ERN CT Executive Director Amy Dowell made the following statement:
“This bill is the first of its kind in the country, so we give enormous credit to the leaders of the Democratic Caucus, the ranking members of the Education Committee, and especially the Committee Co-Chairs, Representative Jeff Currey and Senator Doug McCrory—for their visionary leadership regarding equitable education spending.
“Teacher pension allocations are largely based upon salaries set by local school districts—but in Connecticut, teacher pension costs are covered entirely by the state. We found that, per pupil, the state is funding teacher pensions at higher rates for districts that have less student diversity, fewer students living in poverty, and higher academic performance.
“When it comes to offering competitive teacher salaries, Connecticut disadvantages higher need districts twice: once because they cannot afford higher salaries, and again because the state pays the resultant pension costs in a way that favors districts that are already ahead. Only three states in the country fund teacher pensions this way, and we hope the legislative task force will explore the extent to which this funding system reinforces already deep educational inequities.”
About Education Reform Now CT:
The state chapter of a national organization, Education Reform Now CT is a 501(c)(3) that operates as a think tank and policy advocate, promoting great educational opportunities and achievement for all by increasing equity, protecting civil rights, and strengthening the social safety net.