Last year, we told you about an obscure quirk in Illinois law that caused nearly 40% of federal funds used to pay teachers to be diverted to pay pension debt. Thanks to the work of advocates and sponsors Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth and Sen. Steve Stadelman, HB 656 became law and ended this egregious practice – leaving about $80 million dollars more in classrooms serving our neediest kids.
Good news! The rate paid by Illinois school districts to the state teacher pension fund for teachers paid with federal funds will decrease beginning July 1, 2018. On that date, the employer contribution on federally funded salaries will decrease from 10.1% to 9.85%. This slight decrease comes from an actuarial calculation of actual pension costs. No longer will current Title I and special needs teachers foot the bill for past pension debt!