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Rauner Veto Leaves Schools on the Hook for Teacher Pensions

Local school districts would have to pay pension costs for all newly-hired teachers if the General Assembly upholds Governor Bruce Rauner's rewrite of the school funding plan known as Senate Bill One.

Ever since SB1 was approved on votes mainly cast by Democrats, Rauner has promised to rewrite portions that he deemed too generous to Chicago Public Schools. When he issued his amendatory veto last week, it turned out his changes went far beyond CPS.

"The shift in pension costs of new teachers will affect districts like mine more than it will affect the wealthier districts."

That's Andy Henrikson, superintendent of Mundelein District 75. He was one of several suburban superintendents who told lawmakers Rauner's veto punishes schools that can't afford high salaries and therefore have high turnover rates.

Currently, the state pays teacher pensions except for CPS. But under a new pension law, districts would have to pay pension costs for teachers hired after July 1. Rauner's veto cuts the part of SB1 that would give districts credit for those payments.