BRUNSWICK — To curb the impact of expected layoffs, the Brunswick School Department is again offering retirement incentives to teachers eligible to retire under the state pension system.

School officials anticipate a $3 million budget gap as a result of losses in state and federal revenues.

With staffing reductions likely as part of the school department’s response to the funding shortfall, Superintendent of Schools Paul Perzanoski said the incentive package aims to entice those already eligible to retire to make the move.

Perzanoski told The Times Record earlier “that nothing will be left untouched” by the cuts, which come as the fourth consecutive year of state and federal funding reductions for the district.

On Monday, Perzanoski said that because cuts hit the elementary level hardest last year, this year’s cuts will likely affect the middle school and high school levels more.

In a letter to teachers in the district, Perzanoski wrote that the retirement incentive offer would allow employees 60 years old with at least 10 years of experience prior to July 1, 1993, or those 62 years of age to receive either a $5,000 lump sum or monthly payments equaling 55 percent of an Anthem health care plan until the employee reaches the age of 65.

“This is not an ‘early’ retirement incentive and (is) not available to anyone retiring before normal retirement age,” Perzanoski wrote.

The offer stipulates that if an employee is rehired, he or she must pay back either the $5,000 lump sum or the amount expended on health care, depending on the circumstance.

So far, Perzanoski said one employee has applied for the retirement plan and two others have expressed an intent to take the retirement offer.

Teachers have until April 13 to declare an intent to take the retirement offer.

Perzanoski said five teachers opted to take the school department offer last year, but he said he hopes that this year will bring more.

“If we have reductions in force, which we will have to have, we’ll be able to use the positions that retired to avoid layoffs,” Perzanoski said.

Any teachers applying for the retirement incentive would need to have an effective retirement date no later than June 30.

School officials will continue to meet regularly through April to review each of the school department’s programs.

Perzanoski said Monday it is still unclear how deeply those cuts will go and how much the school department might ask for the town to increase its spending for schools.

The School Board will meet again Thursday at 6 p.m. in the town council chambers at Brunswick Station, 16 Station Ave., to discuss the district’s K-8 programs.

For a full schedule of upcoming budget meetings, visit http://ow.ly/9L7dd.

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