The West Chester Area School Board passed a resolution at April’s monthly meeting asking legislators in Harrisburg to reform the state’s pension system for teachers.
According to the school board, the employer contribution rate is projected to increase sharply in the next four years, jumping to 16.75% in 2013-14, to 21.25% in 2014-15, and reaching a peak of 28.04% in 2019-20.
According to the school district’s business office, these jumps will lead to enormous budget deficits in the following years forcing the district to cut spending beyond the millions already cut in the last several years.
By the 2015-16 school year the district will face a $19 million deficit, and required contributions to the pension fund by the state will reach $21 million. In the 2006-07 school year, the district only paid $5.2 million to the pension fund.
According to the resolution:
…reform must reduce projected employer contribution rate increases and reduce projected costs to school districts, taxpayers and the commonwealth over the next two decades; that reform must protect those teachers, administrators, and support staff already vested in the PSERS system; and that reform must allow school districts to offer a defined contribution plan, which will offer immediate vesting and ownership by participants, and stable, consistent contributions by school boards.
To read the complete resolution please read the PDF included with this story in the picture window.