Teachers in the Shawnee Mission School District who are qualified for retirement can take advantage of an early retirement incentive this year. The early retirement package was approved by the school board Monday after being ratified by more than 95 percent of the membership of the National Education Association of Shawnee Mission.
The agreement is an addendum to the current teacher contract and only applies to the current school year. Under the terms of the agreement, teachers who take advantage of the incentive will receive an amount equal to 60 percent of their base pay. The payment will be spread over five years starting in September.
To be eligible, teachers must have 10 years of continuous service in the district and be qualified to claim retirement benefits under the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System (KPERS). They also must submit their resignation letter by February 2. The agreement is a one-time offer. The teachers cannot be re-employed by the district, except as substitutes.
NEA President Nancy Fritz said the new agreement could be a “win-win” for the teachers and the district. About 300 teachers will qualify for the payout. Some of those teachers might have been on the edge of a decision, she said, and some might not have found the new technology introduction in the district “to their liking.”
The retirement of teachers at the top of the pay scale, who will be replaced by lower-paid teachers, could free money that can be put back in the budget to the benefit the younger teachers, she said. Those younger teachers also move up in seniority on the reduction-in-force list if there should be layoffs.
Fritz said if successful, perhaps the incentive plan could be offered again in future years.
See a summary of the program below: