Teaching Profession

Charter Advocates Say Planned Rules Threaten Pensions

By Sean Cavanagh — February 21, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Charter school advocates have sounded a warning about a federal rule in the works that they say could undermine the ability of teachers in those schools to participate in state retirement plans.

Facing those concerns, the Internal Revenue Service earlier this month extended the deadline on its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which says that federal officials are seeking to clarify what kinds of pension systems qualify as “governmental plans,” which would affect their regulation.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, in Washington, worries that the proposal, first unveiled in November, could affect the ability of states’ pension systems to meet the definition of a “governmental plan,” if they allow charter employees to participate. As a result, states would not “accept the risk of allowing charter school teachers to continue their participation in state plans,” the alliance said in a statement.

The charter school group urged its members to ask U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to make sure the regulations are crafted in a way that protects charter schools. The IRS’ deadline for public comments on the notice of rules is June 18, and it has set a public hearing for July 9.

The notice also drew objections from U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the chairman of the subcommittee on early-childhood, elementary, and secondary education, who co-wrote a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman warning that regulations “could effectively prevent many public charter schools from recruiting or retaining veteran traditional public school teachers.”

According to the alliance, 24 states have laws that mandate charter participation in state-sponsored retirement systems, and 18 others permit it. The alliance estimates that more than 90,000 employees, mostly teachers, would be affected if the rules as envisioned take effect.

Officials from the Treasury Department declined comment on the advanced notice. An Education Department official said that staff members planned to have a conversation with the Treasury Department about the proposed rules, but declined further comment.

A version of this article appeared in the February 22, 2012 edition of Education Week as Charter Advocates Say Planned Rules Threaten Pensions

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Reframing Behavior: Neuroscience-Based Practices for Positive Support
Reframing Behavior helps teachers see the “why” of behavior through a neuroscience lens and provides practices that fit into a school day.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Math for All: Strategies for Inclusive Instruction and Student Success
Looking for ways to make math matter for all your students? Gain strategies that help them make the connection as well as the grade.
Content provided by NMSI
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Equity and Access in Mathematics Education: A Deeper Look
Explore the advantages of access in math education, including engagement, improved learning outcomes, and equity.
Content provided by MIND Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Teachers, Tame the 'Sunday Scaries'
Many teachers feel a real dread of the pending workweek. Here's how to cope.
4 min read
Image of a weekly calendar with a sticky with a stressed face icon.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva
Teaching Profession Opinion My Life as a Substitute Teacher in Suburbia: Chaos and Cruelty
I was ignorant of the reality until I started teaching, writes a recent college graduate.
Charrley Hudson
4 min read
3d Render Red & White Megaphone on textured background with an mostly empty speech bubble quietly asking for help.
iStock/Getty images
Teaching Profession The State of Teaching This Is the Surprising Career Stage When Teachers Are Unhappiest
Survey data reveal a slump in teachers' job satisfaction a few years into their careers.
7 min read
Female Asian teacher at her desk marking students' work
iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Video ‘Teachers Make All Other Professions Possible’: This Educator Shares Her Why
An Arkansas educator offers a message on overcoming the hard days—and focusing on the why.
1 min read