Educator Staffing, Quality, and Teacher Retirement Benefit Systems Conference Highlights
Session I: Can Retirement Systems Be Used to Improve Teacher Recruitment and Retention?
Issue background:

Leora Friedberg, University of Virginia: Share an overview of the labor market effects of teacher pensions and the rigorous econometric analyses which demonstrate the relationships between retirement benefits and teacher behavior in several states.

Contextualized need:

Robert Scott, Commissioner, Texas Education Agency:
  • Can we use these systems to incentivize teachers to work in hard-to-staff schools?
  • Can we use these systems to retain teachers in hard-to-staff schools?

  • State Study: Arkansas Robert Costrell, University of Arkansas Fayetteville
  • State Study: Pennsylvania Robert Strauss, Carnegie-Mellon University
  • State Study: Missouri Michael Podgursky, University of Missouri Columbia
Session II: Are retirement systems as they exist now, including healthcare obligations, economically viable?
Issue background:

Janet Hansen, Vice President and Director of Education Studies, Committee for Economic Development: Describe regional and national funding status and review healthcare examples.

Contextualized need:

George Hopkins, Director, Arkansas Teacher Retirement System:
  • What are the needs for funding that exist within current systems?
  • How can we identify the costs of healthcare benefits?
  • What is the impact on district budgets?

  • Pension system funding viability Lawrence Kotlikoff, Boston University
  • Health insurance after GASB Robert Clark, North Carolina State University
  • Teacher pensions: Economics, perceptions, politics and interest groups, Beth Almeida, National Institute on Retirement Security
Session III: What are the equity issues for teachers in retirement systems? Are existing systems fair to all teachers?
Issue background:

Michael Podgursky, University of Missouri-Columbia: Provide an overview of teacher equity issues and their impact on the system and to individuals including loss of benefits if departure occurs prior to vesting and benefit portability.

Contextualized need:

John OSullivan, Secretary-Treasurer, Texas Federation of Teachers
  • What are the benefits for new teachers?
  • How can we create attractive incentives?
  • How can we support teachers?

  • Teacher Perspectives Tom Carroll, President, National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future
  • How Well do Teachers Understand Their Pensions and What Do They Think about Alternative Pension Structures? Michael DeArmond, Center on Reinventing Public Education
  • Legal issues in teacher pension reform: What are the options? Amy Monahan, University of Missouri
Session IV: Panelist Discussion: What can this mean for teacher quality policy?

  • Oklahoma State Representative, Ann Coody
  • Executive Director of New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, Jan Goodwin
  • Oklahoma State Stenator, Clark Jolly
Facilitated by:

Professor of Public Policy & Education, Director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy, Vanderbilt University, James Guthrie