Pensions erode Michigan school funding

May 22, 2013

School busses in Three Rivers
Credit WMUK

A new report says Michigan's public schools have less to spend educating students because of rising teacher retirement costs. The Citizens Research Council says retirement now eats up nearly 15 percent of the money districts get per-student. That's up from only about nine percent in 2004.

The report says the hit pension investment funds took during the 2008 financial meltdown is the biggest cause of the problem. The CRC says meeting unfunded retirement obligations will offset most of the increase in state funding proposed for the coming school year. But in the future the report adds that reforms in the state's teacher retirement system should begin to address the problem.