Growing pension costs for retired educators are quickly crowding the classroom out of Illinois budgets.

Pension costs are crowding out classroom spending across Illinois school districts.

In the coming school year, 36% of the money the state allocates to education will be diverted away from teachers and students to meet required pension payments for retirees.

This represents a 200% increase in spending on teacher pensions since 2000, compared with a mere 20% increase on classroom spending during that period.

This massive growth in pension spending is especially concerning for younger teachers new to the workforce and parents with children enrolled in public schools, whose needs will be put on the back burner to make room for rising retirement costs.

Since 2010 alone, spending on

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