California Schools Facing $24 Billion in Retiree Health Costs

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A new report shows California schools are on the hook for $24 billion they haven’t saved in future health care costs for their retirees.

It’s a mountain of debt that’s forcing some to curb future benefits or spend less on teacher salaries.

The data comes from a report released Monday by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Teachers’ union representatives argue good health care is an essential tool for hiring teachers. But the looming debt means newer teachers are offered skimpier benefits and less money is available to spend in classrooms.

Los Angeles Unified School District boasts a whopping 56 percent share — or $13.5 billion — of the state’s unfunded liability.

Beyond retiree health benefits, California’s teacher pension fund is facing nearly $100 billion in future payments it can’t currently afford.