The Washington Post

DCPS inaction scuttled teacher early retirement, CFO’s office says

Here’s a small postscript to last month’s piece about DCPS’s failure to fund the early retirement option it agreed to in its 2010 contract with WTU. The school system cited prohibitive cost, despite a retirement fund so flush that there was no actuarial need for annual contributions last year.

D.C. Treasurer and deputy chief financial officer Lasana Mack, via spokesman David Umansky, said DCPS needed to submit legislation to the D.C. Council to have the provision funded through the D.C. Retirement Board plan. That never happened, Umansky said.

“If it had happened, there would be no problem funding the early retirements through the DCRB plan, with any additional cost to be covered over time (actuarially) via the District’s annual contributions to DCRB,” he said, adding:

“We are not sure why DCPS is saying that ‘the cost proved to be prohibitive’ (according to the article), because that is not the issue. The issue is that they would need to conform the contract to the DCRB plan via administrative and legislative actions, which apparently has not/did not happen.”

I ran this by DCPS one more time. And one more time, I got the same answer, which is essentially no answer.

“At this time, we don’t have sufficient funding for this option, but are working with the WTU to find a mutually agreeable path forward,” said spokesman Fred Lewis.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.

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