Pensions Just Don’t Work That Well for Most Teachers

Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews has a new piece on teacher pensions with a headline that reads, “So you think teacher pensions are too big? Relax. Few ever get them.”

In other words, the truth is somewhere between people who think that teacher pensions are too generous and those who think they’re just fine. Jay lets original Eduwonk Andy Rotherham explain:

Rotherham, a former adviser in the Clinton White House and a former member of the Virginia state school board, has long been a leading expert on education policy. He told me more than half of people who teach never get any kind of pension. In 16 states, you have to be teaching for 10 years before you qualify.

“People say we should reward longevity, and I think we should,” he said. “But life happens to people and lots of teachers don’t teach for decades in one place, not because they don’t love teaching, or aren’t good at it, or don’t want to, but because they have to move because of their spouse’s career, military service, a sick relative, whatever.” 

Read the full column here.

–Guest post by Chad Aldeman 

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