The stalemate over Illinois’ state budget has wreaked havoc on school districts and universities. Schools have operated without millions in expected funds with serious consequences for students and workers. As a result, furloughs, layoffs, and pay cuts have plagued universities in Illinois. Last year, Federal Title I funding supporting school districts with a high number of low-income families was reallocated to pay for pension costs.
If Rauner’s plan becomes law, schools might have to offer less generous retirement benefits. While research is on the issue is mixed, overall studies suggest that pensions help public colleges recruit and retain faculty. With budget crunches putting administrators in difficult situations when it comes to recruiting and retaining top faculty, administrators must look to identify other incentives to bring in and keep faculty.