Anchorage School District Seeks to Hire Retired Teachers to Help School Vacancies

The Anchorage School District is considering hiring retired teachers on a full-time basis for the first time to tackle its teacher shortages, due to the difficulty in finding qualified applicants. Addressing recruitment and retention challenges has become a top priority with approximately 400 unfilled staff positions as of January and over 600 open positions listed on the district’s job board. This strategy comes amidst a broader national teacher shortage, compounded by inadequate retirement benefits, lower salaries, and a limited pool of new graduates from the University of Alaska. To implement this plan, the district must pass a resolution approved by the school board. Read more here.

Under New Bill, Kansas Teachers Could Receive More in Retirement

Proposed legislation in Kansas aims to address the state’s severe teacher shortage by enhancing retirement benefits for educators. Senate Bill 479, currently under consideration, seeks to transition teachers from Tier 3 to Tier 2 within the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System (KPERS), offering improved long-term benefits. With thousands of teacher vacancies reported in recent years, the bill aims to attract and retain teachers by providing a more dignified and comfortable retirement after years of public service. Read more here

Rep. Steele: Hands Off Teacher Pensions!

State Rep. Donni Steele condemns Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposal to redirect funds from the teacher pension system, citing the threat it poses to educators’ retirement benefits. With the Michigan Public Schools Employees’ Retirement System (MPSERS) still significantly underfunded, Steele argues against leveraging teachers’ retirement accounts for other initiatives. The proposed redirection of funds could exacerbate the existing debt burden on MPSERS, impacting the retirement security of teachers. Steele advocates for responsible budgeting and prioritizing the financial well-being of educators–emphasizing the need to address the pension system’s funding gap before allocating resources to new programs.

RI’s Public Employee Turnover Problem Linked to Pension Reform by Report

A recent report from the National Institute on Retirement Security examines the impact of pension reforms in Rhode Island, highlighting increased employee turnover rates across various professions. Despite the significant cost savings generated by the 2011 pension overhaul, the report underscores challenges in retaining experienced workers, particularly in critical sectors like public safety and education. Concerns over workforce quality and productivity emerge as the report calls for adjustments to retirement plans to incentivize employee retention. The findings prompt discussions among state lawmakers and stakeholders on addressing the unintended consequences of pension reforms and ensuring a skilled and stable public workforce. Read more on the report here.

Oregon’s Pension Expansion Bill Goes to Governor

Oregon’s House Bill 4045, now awaiting the governor’s approval, proposes significant changes to retirement benefits for public safety workers and hazardous-duty positions. The bill seeks to lower the retirement age for police and firefighters from 60 to 55, while extending enhanced pension benefits to district attorneys and certain state employees. Additionally, it directs the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) board to consider creating a new category of benefits for hazardous-duty workers such as emergency dispatchers and hospital care workers. The proposed changes reflect ongoing efforts to modernize retirement benefits and address evolving workforce needs in Oregon. Read more here.

Schools Are Facing Teacher Shortage Crisis Across America

New research from the labor market think tank, ADP, reveals a persistent teacher shortage crisis across America’s schools. Despite a surge in job openings for educators, supply remains significantly behind demand, particularly in critical areas such as elementary schools. Contributing factors include the widening pay gap for teachers compared to the national average. However, recent legislative measures, such as teacher pay raises in Virginia, offer hope for addressing the shortage in the short term. Continued shortages of essential public workers and educators underscore the urgent need for sustainable solutions to attract and retain public employees nationwide. Read more here.

Be sure to check back next Friday for the latest in the fight for a secure retirement! For now, sign up for NPPC News Clips to receive daily pension news from across the country directly to your inbox.