Bad K-12 403(b) Vendor Lists 😫
October 19, 2021
Forget Ivy League schools. Forget most schools. If the following school districts tried to get into college based on the grade they received for their 403(b) vendor list they would be laughed out of the admissions office. Bad 403(b) vendor choices aren't funny, however. They are damaging to the financial health of school employees. It's why we created the 403bwise Plan Rating Project. It's our effort to expose the horror that is most K-12 403(b) and 457(b) vendor lists.
The 403bwise Plan Rating Project was launched last week. Since there are more than fourteen thousand school districts we are going to need help. A lot of it. Which is why we put out a request for assistance with adding districts. At launch we had vendor data for close to 4,000 school districts. Because each grade must be entered manually, we only had graded 75 school districts. If a district is in our database but has not yet received a grade, a prompt will appear allowing submission of a grade request. In the 48 hours after our launch we got a request to grade the following districts (Ratings explained). They are proving our point: K-12 403(b) districts are awful.
- Ashland, Massachusettes
- Baltimore City, Maryland
- Birmingham Public Schools, Michigan
- CHSD 128, Illinois
- Dallas ISD, Texas
- Duquesne City SD, Pennsylvania
- Lexington, Massachusettes
- Monmouth-Roseville CUSD 238, Illinois
- Okemos Public Schools, Michigan
- Racine Unified School District, Wisconsin
- San Diego Unified, California
Where Are the As and Bs?
Not on this. Unless you count the letters in some of the district and state names. But there are a few in the database. Here are two districts that do it right.
Explore the Database
You begin by searching first for state and then by school district name. If the district you are searching for is not available you will be given an option to add the information. If the district vendor list is in the database, but not yet graded, you will be given an option to request a grade.
- Search Database
- Explanation of Grading System (with sample A, B, C, D and F district).
- Podcast Explanation of Project
Stay wise and well (and keep adding to the database).
403(b) Plan Rating Project 403bwise launches school district 403(b) & 457(b) database and A-F rating system. Dan and Scott discuss initiative that they hope will bring sunshine and accountability. Listen Now »