The Easton Area (Penn.) School District is offering some of its longtime employees $5,000 if they submit notice by Friday to resign or retire, a move school officials say could offset teacher layoffs.
Some teachers, support staff and administrative professionals have been offered the incentive. The Easton Area School Board approved the incentive agreements with each group of employees at its May 22 meeting.
The district’s 2012-13 $133.4 million budget axes 102 positions, including 49 teachers, 31 full-time support staff positions, 21 part-time support staff positions and one in-school police officer.
Easton Area Education Association President Jena Brodhead said 11 teachers -- three of whom were already planning to retire -- accepted the incentive and will retire this year. The retirement option could offset this year’s teacher layoffs if enough accept it, she said. About 25 teachers were offered the retirement incentive. Teachers are being notified this week of layoffs, which take effect at the end of the current school year.
Other teachers were interested, but they did not qualify, she said.
“There are some individuals that have many, many years of experience, just not in Easton," Brodhead said.
Teachers who are 55 and have at least 30 years experience, with 25 years in the Easton district, were offered the one-time stipend of $5,000 and a payment of $5,000 into a health reimbursement account each year until they turn 65, Brodhead said.
Teachers who were eligible but declined the incentive in the past are being offered $2,500 or the health reimbursement plan, she said.