AD73: Anna Bryson Is Right To Support Normal Early-Retirement for Teachers To Save School District’s Money & To Improve Student Learning
By Art Sanchez, Campaign Manager, Anna Bryson for State Assembly 2014
(This is the 11th in a series of blog posts “Setting the Record Straight on Anna Bryson”)
Candidate Jesse Petrilla and pro-Bill Brough bloggers Aaron Park and Craig Alexander all (wrongly) attacked Anna for supporting normal early-retirement buy-outs (of teacher contracts), which saved the school district substantial money and eased out teachers who were tired of teaching and eager to retire.
Petrilla’s attacks on Anna (for supporting normal early-retirement) came in direct-mail pieces that went out to tens of thousands of likely voters. Brough-supporting blogger Craig Alexander attacked Anna (on the early-retirement policy) in a 10/20/13 blog post, as did Brough-blogger Aaron Park in a 4/9/14 blog post.
In fact, however, early retirement saves money for the school district. By law, such a program cannot even be put into effect unless it saves the district money. And – according to the best research – early-retirement buy-outs of teacher contracts are likely to improve student performance.
Capistrano Unified School District has given bonuses to teachers for early retirement, and in this way, the district has changed the make-up of the teaching force.
This makes for a more effective team of teachers, since Capistrano Unified will have teachers who strongly want to be there, and it will no longer have some teachers whose thinking is focused on their retirement plans. Anna has said: “This is a very positive program. But at the state level, we should not forget that we need to fix the teacher pension system.”
Here’s what Joseph M. Farley, then-Superintendent of Capistrano Unified School District says:
“Estimates, based on the actual number of participants in the plan, indicated the District would realize savings of $893,450 in the 2012-2013 school year. Over the course of five years, the District would save an estimated $2,861,507. Those savings would not have been possible without the retirement plan, and other reductions would have been required to generate similar financial reductions.”
Jesse Petrilla, Aaron Park, and Craig Alexander are either demagogues who are attacking anything pertaining to teachers or they are fools who are woefully ignorant about education policy and economics.
- CUSD Superintendent Joseph Farley’s response to public information request.
- An interesting and very recent paper by two economists (Maria Fitzpatrick & Michael Lovenheim) says that early-retirement programs tend to increase student test scores.
- Here’s another very recent paper, by a different set of economists (Cory Koedel, Michael Podgursky & Shishan Shi), on how early retirement improves teacher quality.
- My previous post on this matter.