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State teacher pension funds significantly underfunded in parts of the country
WASHINGTON (AP) ' As new teachers replace baby boomers in schools, states are grappling with what to do about their pensions.
A recent analysis of states' teacher retirement funds by the National Council on Teacher Quality finds a majority are underfunded, some significantly so. The situation has stoked political fights across the country as state lawmakers weigh options such as moving teachers from defined benefit pensions to 401(k)-style plans or raising the retirement age.
The shortfalls are reflective of what's happening with public pensions nationwide. But it takes on special significance in education because of its impact on kids. Pension policies affect the ability of districts to hire and retain teachers. Funds used to shore up pension funds can mean tax hikes or come at the expense of other areas like education.