The Burlington School District's certified enrollment fell by more than 130 students this year, which equates to a loss in state aid of more than $500,000. The school board hopes to cope with the loss by offering a retirement incentive to some of its employees.
Business Manager Greg Reynolds said the incentive is being offered to teachers and support staff who are at least 55 years old and have been with the district for at least 10 consecutive years. He said there are more than 50 employees eligible.
"The only restrictions are that there are no administrators and there is a limit of five support staff," said Reynolds. "The package we offered this year is fairly consistent with what the district has offered in the past. Hopefully, the early retirement incentive will entice some employees to take advantage of the program."
Reynolds says employees who apply for the incentive would receive:
- $125/each year of service for their first 19 years
- $175/each year of service beyond 19 years
- $75/ each unused sick day
So a teacher with 30 years of experience and 30 unused sick days would receive more than $6,300. Reynolds said it would be paid out over two years.
The incentive is being offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and there is a cap of $150,000 that the district will pay out for this round of the program.
"So between certified staff and support staff, once they reach that cap of $150,000, then obviously they will not accept anymore applications," said Reynolds. "The early retirement incentive is paid out through the management levy, so the board is very cognizant of property taxes. That's roughly the amount that will fall off the property taxes this year of property taxes as a result of previous year payments. So this will basically replace what was paid in the past so it should keep the levy fairly consistent."
The application period opened Tuesday morning.