How do charter schools handle teacher pensions?

Amy Fagan

The Fordham Institute has published a new paper today that readers might find quite interesting. In this new "Ed Short," Amanda Olberg of the Fordham Institute and Michael Podgursky of the University of Missouri at Columbia examine how public charter schools handle pensions for their teachers. Some states give these schools the freedom to opt out of the traditional teacher pension system; when given that option, how many charter schools take it? Olberg and Podgursky examine data from six charter-heavy states and find that charter participation rates in traditional pension systems vary greatly from state to state.? When charter schools choose not to participate in state pension plans, the authors find that they most often provide their teachers with defined-contribution plans (401(k) or 403(b)). But some opt-out charters offer no alternative retirement plans for their teachers. To learn more, check out the full paper, "Charting a New Course to Retirement: How Charter Schools Handle Teacher Pensions."