Despite pension reform at the state level, pension costs are set to double by 2021. By 2024, district contributions to pensions will have tripled from 2014 levels. As a result, districts are forced into difficult choices that undermine the education of California’s 6.2 million public school students. Immediate action is needed to mitigate this problem so that all students have better access to the resources needed for a high-quality education. CSBA has distributed a copy of the pension report to every member of the State Legislature and called on them
to address the pension crisis.
For some school districts, higher pension costs are already outpacing Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) increases, meaning they have less money for students now than they did before the program was implemented. This trend will only intensify in future years as scheduled LCFF revenue increases expire and employer pension contributions continue to grow.
The spike in pension contributions comes as school districts and county offices of education are facing increased financial pressure from rising healthcare, transportation, and utility costs and the burden of new, unfunded state mandates. California already ranks near the bottom nationally in school funding and staffing levels; skyrocketing pension costs exacerbate that problem.