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School Districts' Pension "pickups" cost students & taxpayers

The practice of the 'pickup'.  Where school districts pay some, if not all, of the teachers' pension contributions.  The practice could leave Illinois educators, students & taxpayer high and dry.

Pension pickups have destroyed spending accountability in Illinois, put teacher retirements at serious risk & left Illinois taxpayer with a massive tax increase.  The Illinois Policy Institute said in a report entitled "Playing Favorites".

Public School teachers in Illinois must pay 9.4 of their salary into the retirement system, however, the State Board of Education is claiming that 2/3 of school districts statewide pay some or all of each teacher's required contribution. 

The Chicago teachers union recently called a strike when the state proposed a 5.4 billion dollar plan that included the district's elimination of the 7% they currently contribute into the union retirement system. 

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average salary of Chicago teachers is $78,910 but the average salary of a Chicago resident is only $31,096.  That's over 2 and one half times what the average resident is making.

And its not the taxpayers' fault. every contract year the teacher's union strike holds our children hostage until they get what they want.

According to the Illinois Policy Institute, many school districts are using the portion of state-issued funding to pay for pension pickups instead of using it for students.

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