Bill to reduce DPS pension contributions passes House

The House has passed a bill for a second time to lower the pension contribution of Denver Public Schools.

DPS joined the Public Employees' Retirement Association, or PERA, several years ago after its own pension plan ran into trouble. As part of that deal, the district agreed to higher contributions to improve its solvency.

DPS’s pension account is now better funded than PERA as a whole, so the district is seeking a $23 million a year reduction in its contribution.

"Every student in the Denver Public Schools is being shortchanged," said Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg. "They’re being shortchanged an average of two or three teachers in every Denver public schools and we need those teachers."

But Senate President Bill Cadman told the Denver Post that the school district needs to get its pension fund closer to full solvency before the Legislature reduces its contribution rate.