This 450-page special edition of Education Policy and Finance
offers a one-stop shop for the teacher-pension novice and journeyman
alike, furnishing timely and comprehensible overviews of our
teacher-pension predicament as well as thoughtful empirical analyses of
today’s muddled pension reality. No stone in this debate is left
unturned. Rick Hess and Juliette Squire illustrate the political
dynamics perpetuating the “irresponsible fiscal stewardship” of teacher
pension plans and offer political strategies to make such plans more
tractable. For those interested in the legal frameworks behind pensions,
Amy Monahan outlines the regulations that affect states' ability to
reform. And for those curious about the cost of defined benefit-programs
on mobile teachers, Robert Costrell and Michael Podgursky offer a
sobering analysis. (Splitting a thirty-year teaching career across two
states adds up to a net loss of over half of one’s cumulative pension
wealth.) As fixing teacher pensions becomes an increasingly prominent
piece of the education reform puzzle, studying this volume might just
serve you well.

Thomas A. Downes and Dan Goldhaber, eds., “Education Finance and Policy: Special Issue: Rethinking Teacher Retirement Benefit Systems” (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, Fall 2010, Volume 5, Issue 4).

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