WASHINGTON — The Governmental Accounting Standards Board is set to kick off a series of public hearings next week on its preliminary draft pension-fund accounting and financial reporting standards that are designed to boost the disclosure of public pension liabilities but are proving to be controversial.

State and local issuers are concerned that the proposal would needlessly alarm market participants and lawmakers while some academics are warning it does not go far enough and would continue to allow governments to conceal the true size of their pension obligations.

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