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Sharing The Cost Of Teacher Pensions Will Likely Be Discussed

December 27th, 2011 by WCBC Radio

State Senator George Edwards told the Allegany County Board of Education earlier this month that the issue of local governments and school board’s sharing the cost of teacher pensions is almost certain to be seriously discussed again when lawmakers open the General Assembly session in three weeks. Maryland’s teachers union is resisting efforts to trim an anticipated $1.1 billion budget gap by shifting teacher pension costs to its 23 counties and Baltimore to help close the state’s structural deficit. Despite salaries being determined at the county level, Maryland is one of the last few states that pay teacher benefits without help from counties. Yearly pension payouts to Maryland teachers have essentially tripled in the past 10 years as salaries have increased and more teachers have retired. They represent nearly two-thirds of the state’s annual $1.5 billion in total pension costs. Edwards said that the concept is strongly favored by Senate President Mike Miller, and that there are any number of scenarios that could play out next year- any of which could have a major financial hit on local school board funding…

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