School district offers early retirement
With declining enrollment and sharp cuts to state aid, USD 410 needs to reduce its staff, Superintendent Steve Noble said Friday after a special Board of Education meeting.
The board took the first step in reducing staff by approving a retirement incentive for qualifying certified staff. Eligible staff members who accept the offer by 3:30 p.m. April 1 will receive one year of their final salary, spread over five years in addition to normal retirement pay.
One-third of the compensation would be paid each of the first two years — an additional one-ninth each of the final three years. The benefit would not include any supplemental salary for coaching sports or sponsoring activities. Staff accepting the early retirement would be eligible to remain on the district’s health insurance plan, but would have to pay their own premium.
To qualify for the early retirement benefit, a teacher or other certified staff member must:
- Be a current employee of USD 410,
- Be eligible for retirement benefits from Kansas Public Employees Retirement System,
- And have a minimum of 20 years of employment in public schools, including five in USD 410.
Ten staff members meet the eligibility requirements.
The district’s certified staff had approved the amendment to the master contract before the board meeting, Noble said. The board approved the amendment unanimously.
After the meeting, Noble said the incentive package was intended to minimize or prevent the need for any forced layoffs. It was not about reducing salaries by replacing experienced teachers with inexperienced teachers earning lower salaries.
The bottom of the district’s salary schedule, for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and zero years of experience, is $31,675. At the other end of the salary schedule, for a teacher with a master’s degree and 30 additional college credits or equivalent professional development and 21 or more years of experience, the salary is $49,520.
Now is an especially hard time for teachers to find job openings, Noble said. That makes it preferable to give teachers who can afford it a chance to retire, rather than forcing out a teacher who would need to find another job, he added.
Last modified March 9, 2011