Districts Question Retirement Plan

By: Tiffany Teasley Email
By: Tiffany Teasley Email

It's no secret that local districts across the state are slowly suffering.

"School districts are planning on layoffs because of the tight budgets, the state's looking to cut the Foundation Grant that each student provides to the school district, there's cost of living increases, there's budget tights," said Ed Sarpolus of the Michigan Education Association.

And to prevent layoffs lawmakers are making bold moves to save money.

"Encourage those veteran teachers to leave and in turn probably be replaced by young, new teachers," said Chuck Agerstrand of the Michigan Education Association.

It's called the School Employee Retirement Stimulus, increasing public school employee pensions to encourage retirement.

"We're looking at about a $410 million savings state-wide to all local school districts, so these are real dollars that could be generated within the foreseeable future," Agerstrand said.

Charlotte Public Schools Superintendent Nancy Hipskind isn't completely sold.

"If we're going to pay an increased amount to certain segment of the retirees, my assumption would be that somewhere along the line, there's going to be a rate increase to support that, the money has to come from somewhere," Hipskind said.

There are pros to the plan Hipskind says, but with 150 less students expected in her district next year, she says it's probable those vacant positions wouldn't be replaced.

"If I'm not going to replace that teacher, then there's really no savings, the savings only comes when you have an expensive teacher and a you're going to replace them with a less expensive teacher," Hipskind said.

Only time will tell if the proposal will gain support.

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  • by Go Orioles Location: Charlotte on Feb 8, 2009 at 06:57 PM
    Way to go Hipskind. This is the same kind of reasoning that got her in trouble in Marinette, Wisconsin. Maybe she'll take the buyout and go home...
  • by Ray Location: St Johns on Jan 31, 2009 at 05:40 AM
    There would be a total savings if you didn't replace the retiring senior teacher versus replacing them with a younger teacher. What kind of math classes did Ms. Hipskind take?
  • by Linda Location: Jackson on Jan 29, 2009 at 08:21 AM
    I think the superintendent forgets that if the senior teachers retire, she won't be laying off less expensive teachers...if the senior teachers stay on, then her layoffs will be the lower cost employees!
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