Civic Federation continues attack on Chicago Teachers Pension Fund in annual analysis of CPS budget... One recommendation is that CTPF and TRS be combined

Nobody from the Civic Federation, the business-oriented municipal finance organization, showed up at the July 23, 2014 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education to testify during the public participation portion of the meeting regarding the Board's proposed Fiscal 2014 budget. It was the first time in a decade that the Civic Federation had avoided the public meeting (and the corporation press that was there to cover the heated public discussions of the budget). Instead, the Civic Federation issued a major report re-iterating its claim that the "pension problem" is the big financial challenge facing CPS. In its newsletter, the Civic Federation stated on July 30 that the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) be combined with the Illinois Teacher Retirement System (TRS) as one of the ways to "reform" pensions:

"Last week, the Civic Federation released its analysis of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) FY2015 Proposed Budget. Among other reforms, the Federation urged the District to consider consolidation of its Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) with the State Teachers Retirement System (TRS). TRS is funded primarily by State taxpayers, including those in the City of Chicago, while the CTPF is mainly funded by Chicago taxpayers. Consolidation would result in a more equitable system in which all State taxpayers fund all teachers retirement benefits. The full analysis explains why the Federation could not support the Districts proposed $6.8 billion budget proposal. As reported, the short-sighted budget does nothing to address CPS grave fiscal crisis and is balanced only by an accounting maneuver that allows the District to book more than 12 months of revenue into a single fiscal year. Media coverage of the report included Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Crains Chicago Business."


July 31, 2014 at 5:54 PM

By: Rod Estvan

why would the state want to pick up the tab for CTPF

I read the Federation report and could see no upside for the State in merging the two pension funds. I thought it was a very strange proposal.

Rod Estvan

July 31, 2014 at 6:19 PM

By: George N. Schmidt

Civic Fed. idea on teacher pensions is dumbest...

Absolutely right. The fact that the Civic Federation said it is amazing, but not really surprising. The Civic Federation has been part of the "pension crisis" propagandists for nearly ten years, as you know, Rod. Prior to 2006, the pensions costs were part of the "instructional" budget piece of the CPS pie. After 2006, Beth Swanson began pushing the "pension crisis" line, as CPS also began escalating that crazy "estimate" of its "deficit". Remember how many times Ron Huberman prattled about that "billion dollar deficit," even once in a CAFR that showed that the deficit had disappeared under that annual wave of reserves.

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