A Recommendation for the California Teachers Association

This week a fascinating article on the website of the Education Intelligence Agency revealed that the California Teachers Association, one of the most powerful labor unions in the world, is itself having labor problems. Moreover, the labor problems they’re encountering are because they’re trying to be fiscally responsible.

Setting aside for a moment all the grievances that education reformers and concerned parents may have towards the CTA, what they are experiencing right now is an opportunity for a broader consensus to form on one specific and very big issue; pension reform.

It shouldn’t be necessary to explain that California’s public employee pension systems are in trouble. Back in 2019, despite still being in a bull market lasting over a decade, most of California’s public employee pensions systems were already challenged; CalPERS reported their system to be 71 percent funded as of 6/30/2019, and CalSTRS reported an even more dismal 66 percent funding.

And then came COVID. Despite the COVID shutdown affecting at most half their fiscal year, CalPERS reported earnings for the twelve months ended 6/30/2020 of only 4.7 percent, and for the same period CalSTRS reported earnings of only 3.9 percent. To say the bull market is over is inadequate. We are at the end of an era.

The CTA can lower their pension formulas to CalSTRS levels

Someone unfamiliar with the CTA’s employees might assume that these union professionals representing teachers receive the same pension benefits as the teachers they represent. Not […] Read More