James V. Shuls
The fundamental organization of our school system—a patchwork of 14,000 school districts with geographic monopolies over the residents who live within them—contributes both to spending and educational inequities.
The transfer program has allowed 2,000-plus students to have the opportunity for a better education and has launched a robust conversation about how to turn around struggling school districts.
What if, instead of busing students from failing school districts to accredited ones, we bused great teachers from accredited schools into the failing districts? One obstacle: the incompatibility of different pension systems.
The fact that Missouri’s defined benefit pension systems do not tie an individual’s contributions directly to his or her pension benefits causes numerous problems.
Spiking of final average salary is one factor among many that contributes to the underfunding of defined benefit pension systems in Missouri and in other states.