Unfortunately for public school teachers, it looks like the people in charge of giving us the New Math may have been applying some of that product to the pension funds for educators in government schools.
The Foundation for Educational Choice and the Manhattan Institute found that:
- “All fifty-nine pension funds studied face shortfalls;
- “California, the most populous state, has the largest unfunded teacher pension liability: almost $100 billion;
- “The worst-funded plan in our sample is West Virginia’s, which we estimate to be only 31 percent funded;
- “Five plans are 75 percent funded or better: teacher-dedicated plans in the District of Columbia, New York State and Washington State and state employee retirement systems in North Carolina and Tennessee that include teachers;
- “Total unfunded liabilities to teachers—i.e., the gap between existing plan assets and the present value of benefits accrued by plan participants—are $332 billion;
- “These plans’ unfunded liabilities total about $933 billion;
- “Only $116 billion, or less than one quarter, of this $600 billion discrepancy is attributable to the stock market drop precipitated by the 2007 financial crisis; and
- “The Dow Jones Industrial Average would have to nearly double overnight to make up for the present underfunding of these plans.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.