Law fails to stop Illinois schools from fattening pensions
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) -
A 2005 state law has failed to discourage many Illinois school districts from using large pay raises to fatten the pensions of retiring educators.
A Chicago Tribune review of pension and salary data has found that hundreds of school districts have continued to dole out large raises to educators approaching retirement despite the financial penalties that came with the law.
The newspaper reports that, as a result, Illinois taxpayers are hit twice, having to pay for both the salary spikes and the penalty payments that were meant to discourage the practice.
The penalty price tag alone rose to $38 million by 2014, at a time when many school districts are deeply in debt and the state is grappling with a massive funding shortfall in its public employee pension systems.