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With permission from IDEA Public Schools

We Have Three Integrated Service Areas

Blog Post
Andrew J. Rotherham
Eduwonk

Chad Aldeman and I have a new paper out today about teacher pensions, Friends Without Benefits  (pdf). It looks at how the current approach to teacher pensions works in the context of broader retirement security issues.

If you’ve followed our work on teacher pensions you know that we see the fiscal problems facing teacher pension plans as a result of bad decisions by state policymakers and a corresponding lack of fiscal discipline as well as ill-considered benefit enhancements. Shoring that up is a fiscal sustainability issue. But there are also a broader set of design questions given what we know about the changing teacher workforce.  Friends Without Benefits is about those design issues and the impact they have on America’s largest class of B.A. workers.

In Friends Without Benefits we use state pension plan data to estimate how many teachers will qualify for at least a minimal pension benefit. Overall fewer than one in five teachers will stay long enough to reach their normal retirement age. But it varies, for instance,

  • At least two-thirds of teachers in Idaho, California, and Kentucky will qualify for a pension benefit.
  • Nine states—Maine, Vermont, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Wyoming, Texas, Nebraska, and Arizona—and the District of Columbia estimate that fewer than 10 percent of teachers will remain in the state system long enough to earn a secure retirement benefit.
  • Maine estimates that 86.1 percent of teachers will not qualify for a pension, and the District of Columbia estimates that four out of five beginning teachers will not.
  • Only about 25 percent of teachers will qualify in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Hawaii.
  • Fewer than 35 percent of teachers will stay long enough to qualify for a pension in Florida, Nebraska, Indiana, South Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Publication
By Andy Smarick

The nation’s first private school voucher program and first charter school law came into being at virtually the same time. But chartering took off quickly as state after state passed laws of their own, and before long there were thousands of charter schools scattered across the nation. But few public programs for private schools were created in the years after the Milwaukee experience. Of late, tax credit and scholarship programs have become resurgent. So what can advocates of such programs learn from charter schooling’s 20 years of experience and evolution — both its successes and struggles? Three strategies hold the most promise for enabling private school programs to thrive: the development of school networks, new-school incubators, and accountability via authorizers.

2011 to 2012
Case Study

Given rapid changes to the data-driven instruction landscape (including the advent of Common Core), The Achievement Network partnered with Bellwether to develop a five-year strategic plan that responds to market and customer needs and builds on existing core competencies.

Opportunity
NewSchools Venture Fund

Bellwether is honored to be supporting NewSchools Venture Fund in the search for its next Chief Executive Officer. NewSchools is a national not-for-profit venture philanthropy firm that seeks to transform education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs, so that all children – especially those in underserved communities – will have an opportunity to succeed.