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June 4, 2014
Supreme court hears both sides on pension fight
The size of future checks for thousands of retired teachers and other civil servants is now in the hands of five Colorado Supreme Court justices.
July 16, 2012
State pension plan weathers tough year
The pension fund that covers Colorado teachers paid out about $1 billion more than it took in last year, legislators were told Monday.
March 24, 2012
College completion bills move ahead
One of the main 2012 bills intended to raise college completion rates has been signed, and another is nearing the finish line
March 15, 2012
PERA benefits bill slips out of House
The bill that would change the way Public Employees’ Retirement Association pensions are calculated is on its way to an uncertain fate in the state Senate.
March 1, 2012
Discipline bill finally moves
The much-amended bill to ease zero-tolerance school discipline policies was passed by the Senate Education Committee Thursday.
February 23, 2012
A day of much talk, little action
A chaotic day for education bills at the Colorado legislature ended with just one noteworthy bill passed and much work left over for later.
February 2, 2012
In shift from recent past, city's budget plan boosts school funds
Bloomberg discusses school funding during today's budget briefing The education proposals that Mayor Bloomberg announced during his State of the City speech last week made no appearance at his budget briefing today. Nor did the policy he had pushed last year during the budget process, an end to seniority-based layoff rules. In fact, in his budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins in July, Bloomberg said little about schools except that the Department of Education is among the only city agencies not set to experience budget cuts. The city is planning to spend $13.6 billion on schools in 2012-2013, and layoffs are not on the table. That's good news for principals, who said last year (as they had in the past) that they could not fathom cutting anything more in their schools. But the budget proposal counts on some revenue that is not at all assured — increased school aid from the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of course, has said the aid increase would go only to districts that have new teacher evaluations in place. So far, the city and teachers union have been unable to agree on new evaluations and do not appear on the brink of doing so. But Bloomberg said today he was not worried about Cuomo's threat, arguing that the aid increases were slated well before Cuomo's recent ultimatum.
January 31, 2012
More education pieces fall into place
Several significant pieces of education legislation were introduced in the Senate Tuesday, covering such issues as charter schools and coordination of early childhood services.
January 26, 2012
ASSET bill headed to Senate floor
An emotional hearing on the undocumented student tuition bill was the highlight of a busy day at the Capitol Thursday.
January 22, 2012
“Trigger” would be more of a request
A revised “parent trigger” bill is among the latest batch of education bills introduced in the Colorado legislature.
January 19, 2012
Campaign bill gets its hearing
A bill to limit campaign contributions in school board races got a hearing Thursday but won’t get a vote for a week.
October 27, 2011
Proposal would shift teacher pension fund to new management
UFT President Michael Mulgrew joined Mayor Bloomberg and other union leaders to announce new pension reforms Management of the teachers' retirement fund is being merged with other public pensions systems under a proposal unveiled today by city officials and union leaders. In an effort to chip away at the rising costs of the city's $120 billion pension fund, Mayor Bloomberg and Comptroller John Liu announced a proposal to overhaul city unions' scattered pension systems. Until now, each of the five different funds – for teachers, police, fire, school employees and other public sector — had been managed by a handful of trustees under the comptroller's office. Under the proposal, the pools of money from each union will be kept separate but the same professional investors will manage all of the funds. Those investors will not be part of the comptroller's office and will not change when a new comptroller is elected, as they have in the past. Bloomberg, Liu, and union leaders said today that the fund's underperformance had resulted in part from its management structure. But the proposal does not address other issues underlying the city's growing pension costs, which have soared in the last 10 years.
October 13, 2011
Investigation: Teacher's pension checks cut long after her death
The city's teacher pension system is being taxed by more than just unrealistic expectations. It has also handed out hundreds of thousands of dollars to a retiree who died in 2000. That's the conclusion of a report issued today by the Special Commissioner of Investigation, which is charged with looking into allegations of fraud and malfeasance in the school system. Last year, the state's Teachers Retirement System tipped off city investigators that checks issued to Maria Sicardo, a Bronx teacher who retired in 1993, were being cashed by someone else. Investigators discovered that not only had Victor Rosa begun cashing Sicardo's checks after her death in April 2000 but that he had repeatedly submitted paperwork to the state and teachers union certifying that she was still alive. Employees at a check-cashing company in the Bronx told investigators that after they challenged Rosa, he took the checks elsewhere. In total, Rosa pocketed about $241,000 over a decade from the state and from the UFT's Welfare Fund, the union's health fund for current and retired teachers. SCI is recommending that the pension system move to recoup the funds and has referred the case to the U.S. Attorney's office. The full report is below.
July 11, 2011
PERA had good year in 2010
The Public Employees’ Retirement Association had a profitable investing year in 2010 but still is feeling a hangover from the market plunge in 2008.
March 11, 2011
Bill logjam breaks up a bit
Both houses worked through long calendars of backed-up floor work Friday, including 10 bills of interest to education.
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