Chad Aldeman on the pension situation in Louisiana:
To make up for a shortfall of almost $12 billion, Louisiana school districts are now forced to pay more than 30 percent of each teacher’s salary toward the state pension fund. The vast majority of that contribution goes to pay down debts, not for actual benefits for teachers. For at least the last 25 years, Louisiana has never paid its pension bills in full, causing the debt to grow and grow.
And here’s Chad on teacher turnover. It’s a must-read on both the content but also the constant advocacy-driven sleight of hand around important issues that plagues this sector. This, kids, is why we can’t have nice things!
Bonnie O’Keefe is blogging about turnover, too, here she is on the leadership factor.
We’re hiring at Bellwether.
New Education Insider data from Whiteboard Advisors. Insiders see long odds for Trump Administration education priorities that require congressional action. Plenty more and you can read it via this link (pdf).
Maybe this is common knowledge, but I didn’t know Gloria Allred was in education and almost became a principal before her legal career. That was included in this New Yorker profile.
The fraternity paradox, work less and earn more.
Matt Damon is a hero to the anti-reform left because he couldn’t find a single public school in Los Angeles that was “progressive” enough for his kids and went private. (As I noted at the time, if for no other reason than security that choice makes sense for the Damons but why wrap it in all the rhetoric – and the LAUSD superintendent at the time pointed out that there are plenty of progressive public schools in LA). In any event, Damon is back in the news because of allegations he had a hand in squelching Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment claims. (Not the only such allegations surrounding Damon). Rose McGowan, a key figure in the Weinstein episode, is now turning her attention to Damon. If you’re say the American Federation of Teachers, or the host of other anti-reform groups that have thrown their lot in with Damon on his new anti-reform documentary, this is some awkward timing…really awkward. Update: Damon responds in an interview:
For the record, I would never, ever, ever try to kill a story like that. I just wouldn’t do that. It’s not something I would do, for anybody.
If you want to understand why policies toward the poor are so different at the state level, why some states offer so much less support to troubled families with children, one predictor stands out: the African-American share of the population. The more blacks, the less compassion white voters feel.
There is some evidence this dynamic plays out in school finance. Obviously. But, while the evidence is relatively thin and early so all the usual caveats apply, there is some evidence older white voters are less likely to support school bonds (less likely than usual, which is its own problem if you live in a retirement area) in more racially diverse school districts. Add that to the downward pressure on school finance as the population ages and the demographic fiscal burden shifts toward older Americans.