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Crookston School Board approves teacher retirement incentive

The Crookston school board unanimously approved the $10,000 bonus incentive for teachers eligible for retirement, a tactic aimed at saving money by swapping higher paid veteran teachers' salaries for lower ones paid to newer teachers.

The Crookston school board unanimously approved the $10,000 bonus incentive for teachers eligible for retirement, a tactic aimed at saving money by swapping higher paid veteran teachers' salaries for lower ones paid to newer teachers.

The board voted Monday, after earlier attempts to pass the plan found dispute.

The district, with 1,270 students in grades K-12, and 100 teachers, is facing a tough couple of years of flat state funding and the long-term trend of declining enrollment, said Superintendent Wayne Gilman on Tuesday.

He thinks one or two of the 21 teachers eligible for the retirement incentive may take it by the July 15 deadline.

Pushing the decision into July allows the district to put the cost into the next fiscal year budget.

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Roughly, teachers just starting out get salaries of about $30,000, about $20,000 less than veteran teachers earn. So the "salary swap" pays off in lower district expenses for years, Gilman said.

The $10,000 incentive goes into the retired teacher's health retirement fund, per state statute.

With budget cutting likely for the next two years, every bit helps, Gilman said.

"If a couple people take (the incentive) this year, it might save a couple jobs next year."

Reach Lee at (701) 780-1237; (800) 477-6572, ext. 237; or send e-mail to slee@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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