State Pension System
School employees and school districts will contribute more to the state pension program for retirement. The pension system is currently underfunded by $20 billion; therefore, a new bill has been created into law to help increase program funding.
Under the new law, in 2017-2018 school employee contributions increase from 8.66% to a 9% cap. School districts (and other employers in the system) will start contributing increasingly more, continuing through the 2023 fiscal year. The school districts’ contribution to the pension system will increase by 2% in the coming year, then increase by 1% per year for the next five years, until finally their contribution is 18.56%.
The legislature included funds in the state budget to pay half of this year’s initial 2% increase. School districts have to find the money or raise revenue to fund the other 1%. However, the state covers the entire 2% employer increase for school positions funded through the Education Improvement Act. In addition to the pension system contributions, school districts will pay salary increases for teachers with 23 or more years of experience.
One More Year to Become Eligible for National Board Certification Salary Supplement
National Board certified teachers who entered the program prior to July 1, 2010 receive an annual salary supplement from the state of $7,500 for the period of their certification. Those who initially applied to the program after that date receive an annual salary supplement of $5,000. Under the approved budget, 2017-18 will be the final year teachers can apply for National Board certification and be eligible to receive the supplement upon achieving certification. Teachers with existing certification will continue to receive the supplement for the remainder of their certificate.