The Pelican Institute has been highlighting Louisiana's unfunded pension liability problem over the past year. This week, the Institute delves into the details of the teacher retire-rehire program. Investigative reporter Jeremy Alford discovered how a program that was intended to address an alleged shortage of classroom teachers was expanded to the point where most of its participants are non-educators. The state is paying out approximately $250 million per year in benefits to the retire-rehires. Further, these costs contribute to rising employer contribution rates, which leaves schools with less money to pay current teachers. The loophole was closed this past year, but the damage is done. For now, the teachers' pension is covering the costs but at some point it could become necessary to reach into the general fund. How did this fiasco occur? Read it and weep.
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