A Disingenuous Organization Posits Overlooks Contradictory Evidence to Promote A Disingenuous Choice
I get the Politico morning news feed on education and often find myself frustrated at the links they provide, like one that led to a TeacherPensions.org blogpost titled “10 States Spend More on Employee Retirement Costs Than on Higher Education“. Two states who fund my pension, New York and New Hampshire, were among those listed. Although one wouldn’t know it from the article, as a 69-year old retiree from those states (and Maryland), each of the states including Maryland took steps decades ago to address the issue of pension costs. All three states instituted a system of tiers that reduced benefits for those who signed on after the early 1970s and NH and NY both have mechanisms for transferring costs for retirement back to local districts in the event that their treasurers do not raise sufficient funds to cover their forecasted revenue projections.
Unfortunately, those “reforms” did not find their way into the TeacherPensions.org narrative, which is driven by the agenda of the Arnold Foundation, a group that wants to diminish pensions in the public sector as a means of lowering taxes. It is noteworthy that the Arnold Foundation would not advocate for more funding for higher education, which would be one way to alter this equation. Why not? Because any increase in public funding would require a corresponding increase in taxes and that, in turn, would require a diminishment of profits for the private sector and might require some kind of tax reform that would undercut the amount available for hedge funded foundations like, say, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and organizations they fund like Bellwether Education Partners… organizations who help define the public dialogue on public institutions.