Source: The 74

Teacher salaries are flat partly due to rapidly rising pension costs.  As an exercise to see just how much rising teacher pension costs have harmed today’s teachers, imagine a hypothetical world where pension contribution rates had been frozen at their 2001 levels.  At the time, states were living high off the dot-com bubble while simultaneously cutting contribution rates to unsustainably low levels and enhancing benefit formulas. Nearly every state has subsequently been forced to reverse this trend by increasing contribution rates and cutting benefits.  In this hypothetical world, states and school districts would be able to spend about $4,300 more per teacher per year, equivalent to giving each an immediate 7.2 percent raise.  But that’s not all — 37 states and the District of Columbia have increased mandatory teacher contribution rates into their state’s pension plan. That’s effectively a cut in teacher take-home pay, and it works out to an average of about $800 a year.