Allowing Arizona charter teachers to participate in the state retirement system was a decision made by the Arizona legislature in 1994. Now, the Internal Revenue Service wants to prohibit charter school employees from participating in state retirement systems.
But we’re trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.
On Monday, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and two other state charter associations testified in support of charter employees at an IRS public hearing. Earlier this year, we sent a letter to the Treasury Department urging the IRS to change the language in the proposed legislation. In March, 17 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a bipartisan letter to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, embracing our concerns. And, through your efforts in Arizona, over 1,200 people have sent nearly 6,600 emails. Across the nation over 43,000 emails were sent. See a national breakdown here.
Although the IRS proposed regulation doesn’t specifically mention charter schools, it describes entities a lot like charter schools and excludes them from state retirement systems. We want the IRS to incorporate our suggestions to into the next round of their drafts, ensuring charter employees are still allowed to participate in state sponsored retirement systems.
The IRS is only in the preliminarily stages of this process, and it could take years before the proposed regulations become official. We will continue to work with the IRS moving forward and keep you updated.