PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Public School officials are concerned about the district’s financial future.
Even though the district ended last year with a smaller deficit than expected, it is projected to run out of money in 2015.
To cut costs, Superintendent Dr. Linda Lane says they’re reviewing the teachers’ pension plan and looking at other changes.
“Pension costs, as you know for school districts around the state, are rising pretty significantly year over year. I know the governor has proposed a possible way of getting to address that,” said Dr. Lane. “We don’t know if that’s going to be successful or not. But that is one of the cost drivers certainly in our budget, as well as that of others.”
Gov. Tom Corbett’s pension reform plan calls for a mandatory contribution, similar to a 401K, for new employees and reductions in future benefits for current employees.
The plan is controversial, but even if it passes, the Pittsburgh district is still looking at red ink.
And Dr. Lane wonders, as school boards look to reduce pension costs, whether the solution may potentially create new problems.
“On the one side, I certainly would be glad to see our pension costs go down. That would be great,” said Dr. Lane. “But on the other side, if we set up a system whereby a lot of most eligible school employees might leave at one time, that would create another concern on the other side, on the human resources side, especially in hard to staff areas.”
Dr. Lane says the district will look at traditional and nontraditional ways to address this problem.