Lawmakers Express Concern Over Charter School Reform's Teacher Retirement Restriction
Restriction could destabilize retirement system, create uncertainty for teachers
October 07, 2015
 
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The Ohio House today agreed on changes to House Bill 2 (HB 2), a bipartisan education bill to increase transparency and accountability in Ohio’s troubled charter schools. Despite a monthslong process of public debate, a number of Democratic lawmakers objected to a last minute restriction blocking new teachers at charter schools from being a part of the state pension system. The change came as part of negotiations during Tuesday’s conference committee.


“Adding last minute restrictions undermines retirement security for Ohio teachers,” said Rep. Ramos (D-Lorain). “As a member of the Ohio Retirement Council, I am concerned with any plan that threatens the long-term health of our retirement system. We need to ensure there are no unintended consequences from this legislation that outweigh the benefits of reform. If these are public schools paid for with public money, the teachers and staff need to be treated like public employees. I look forward to addressing this issue in a bipartisan way.”


The change will affect newly hired charter school teachers working directly for charter operators rather than the school districts that provide the majority of charter school funding. Opponents of the pension provision see the carve-out as a slippery slope that could destabilize the retirement system and create uncertainty for teachers.


"Teachers are the lifeline to our future and we should treat them that way when it comes to retirement,” said Rep. Kevin Boyce (D-Columbus). “The potential for retirement insolvency and insecurity in the current version of this bill is too great to ignore. I am optimistic that we can come together in a bipartisan way to get this right."


After passage in the House and Senate, the amended bill heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

 
 
 
  
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