New bill aims to reverse end-of-career benefit limits for teache - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New bill aims to reverse end-of-career benefit limits for teachers

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WSIL -- A new bill filed this week looks to reverse a law that caps end of career benefits for educators. 

Hidden nearly 750 pages deep in Illinois Budget Implementation Bill, the change of policy that could effectively limit teacher raises to three percent per year in their last four years before retirement. 

The law requires school districts to pay any contributions into the state retirement fund over the three percent limit.

Previously the state would contribute for raises of up to six percent.

Supporters of the change say it prevents schools from giving retirees an end-of-career pay bump to ensure a higher pension.

State Senator Dale Fowler filed the bill. 

He says with the current teacher shortage in Illinois the state needs to be doing whatever possible to be attractive to teachers, not cutting corners.

“If we don’t continue to work toward protecting our teachers our shortage is going to continue, so then what’s going to happen with our teachers? It’s just so critical that we give them the support they deserve,” Fowler said. 

The Illinois Education Association supported the bill, saying that capping the raises was bad for teachers.

In a statement IEA President Kathi Griffin said. “Governor Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly did a disservice to our educators by capping end-of-career benefits at three percent. Passing SB 3622 is one step to address the issue.”

Fowler says he’s confident the bill will pass when the general assembly goes back into session in November.  

“They know how critical our education field is and how critical and concerning the teacher shortage is,” he said. 

Neil Anderson, a Republican from Moline and Terry Link, a Democrat from Gurnee are co-sponsors of the bill.

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