TUSD teachers offered retirement deal
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Nov 29, 2013 | 4267 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy Unified School District is offering teachers at least 55 years old with a decade of experience in the district the opportunity to retire with a few extra dollars in their pockets.

A supplementary retirement plan was approved Oct. 30 by the Tracy Unified School District. Of the 733 teachers in the district, 146 are currently eligible, said TUSD spokesman Joel Danoy.

Eligible teachers have received packets that outline their individual program benefits from Public Agency Retirement System, the company offering the plan, Danoy said.

Teachers considering the deal will meet at the TUSD office at 1875 W. Lowell Ave. at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, to discuss their options with PARS representatives.

According to a district staff report, the goal of the program is to generate savings — or, at a minimum, no cost to the district — by increasing the number of retirements in the 2013-14 school year.

Tracy Unified School District expects to lose a number of students, primarily from Kimball High School, when Mountain House High School opens in August, Danoy said. State funding based on enrollment would drop as a result, and having fewer salaries to pay would help the district balance its books.

The PARS breakeven analysis shows that the plan is projected to save the district $514,405 or more in 2014-15 and a cumulative $2.01 million or more by the end of five years.

The program allows the district to offer the plan, enroll participants, analyze participation and then elect to move forward or cancel the program depending on the overall projected savings or cost, according to the staff report.

“If they (teachers) accept this offer, they will receive 75 percent of their current salary in the payout, and there are several payout options for each of them,” Danoy said.

Applicants must return their packets to PARS by Jan. 17, he said. At that point, PARS will conduct a cost analysis for the district and present that information to the board of education for approval.

“By February, the board should be involved in discussions about next year’s budget, and that’s when this would be discussed,” Danoy said.

The president of Tracy Educators Association, John Anderson, said the offer is a good thing for those who are eligible, giving them extra money for retirement.

“I do, as president and a teaching colleague, I do hate to see veteran teachers retire,” he said. “They take with them so much experience — help and support to younger teachers — which is so invaluable, regardless of money. … You can replace a person physically, but you can’t replace experience,” he said.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

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