Illinois pension plan causing concern in local school districts

By WEEK Producer

May 22, 2013 Updated Nov 22, 2013 at 7:41 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- The delay in approving a new pension plan in Illinois is causing some schools concern as they work to balance their budgets.

Wednesday at the Unit 5 board meeting, members agreed to transfer funds between budgets to help balance year-end books.

The hope is that by keeping the books balanced, they can stay ahead of any upcoming pension reform plans.

Two bills are currently up for debate.

One would cost-shift pension costs from the state to downstate schools.

Superintendent Gary Niehaus says right now the worst thing is the wait.

"I think the number one concern is we can't make our mind up exactly which plan we're going to go through," said Niehaus, "and we got a lot of people who would like to know what it is so they can move on if they need to or they can continue in what they're doing. I think that the different proposals we have been basically tough on people to make the decision they need to with the time they're at in their careers."

Superintendent Niehaus said he hopes that one of the pension reform bills is passed by the end of spring session, which ends next Friday.