May 13, 2016

The Pension Pac-Man: How Pension Debt Eats Away at Teacher Salaries

By Chad Aldeman

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Why aren’t teacher salaries rising? It’s not for lack of money. Even after adjusting for inflation and rising student enrollment, total school spending is up.

It’s not for lack of money spent on teachers, either. Districts are allocating about the same portion of their budgets to instructional costs—including salaries, wages, and benefits for teachers—as they did 20 years ago.

So overall expenditures are up, but teacher salaries are actually down slightly over the same period.

In our new report, “The Pension Pac-Man: How Pension Debt Eats Away at Teacher Salaries,” we show that, like the proverbial Pac-Man, the rapidly rising costs of teacher retirement and insurance benefits are pushing out money that could be spent on salaries.

Read the summary, and download the full report.


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