MSEA Rejects Sustainability Commission Recommendations and Offers Alternatives

In a letter to the Governor and General Assembly leadership, the Maryland State Education Association expresses its opposition to the final recommendations of the Public Employees’ and Retirees’ Benefits Sustainability Commission.  According to MarylandReporter.com, the Association is opposed to “shifting half of teacher pension costs to the local boards of education or county governments, and it wants county governments to be forced to fully fund education and to give them authority to raise  more taxes or disregard tax caps.”  In addition to these items, the MSEA letter addresses the following.

The teachers union continues to object to moving some savings on pensions into the general fund in a few years for spending on other programs. It also aligns with local boards of education in seeking to bolster the maintenance of effort law that keeps county governments from cutting aid to education.

In exchange, the union favors giving counties more taxing authority, including an increase in the local piggy-back income tax rate to fund schools. They also want the legislature to override the kind of property tax caps that exist in Anne Arundel, Prince George’s and other counties that may limit the amount the counties spend on education.

The union also strongly opposes any effort to dilute the defined pension benefits with defined contribution plans like a 401(k), and they don’t want the attorney general to issue an opinion that says it’s legal for the state to reduce cost of living increases.

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