4 teachers accept early-retirement offer in Apollo-Ridge
Four Apollo-Ridge School District teachers have accepted an early-retirement offer the district made in an attempt to cut costs.
The school board voted Monday to accept the retirements of technical education teacher Jeffrey Jones, math teacher John M. Simon, learning support teacher Kathleen Pryjmak and physical education teacher Jeremy Smail.
The retirements are effective June 30.
“This will help out with next year’s budget,” said Superintendent Matthew Curci.
When Apollo-Ridge extended the early-retirement offer to teachers with at least five years of experience, it said about 80 of the district’s nearly 100 teachers were eligible. Other eligible teachers have until Monday to decide whether to take the offer.
Curci said two weeks ago that the district didn’t have a target number of retirements and wasn’t planning layoffs.
Under the early-retirement package, the district would contribute $12,000 annually for five years to a retiree’s 403(b) fund, which is similar to a 401(k). That would be in addition to a pension and other benefits from the teachers’ collective bargaining agreement with the Apollo-Ridge Education Association.
The school board made one tweak to the package Monday: If a retiree dies within five years, the designated beneficiary would still receive the benefits.
Other school districts have offered similar packages with the thought that it can lead to savings through a veteran teacher being replaced by an entry-level teacher making a smaller salary or by not replacing a retiring teacher.
Earlier this month, Curci said Apollo-Ridge could save about $150,000 over five years replacing a retiring teacher with one starting at an entry-level salary, while savings could be more than $500,000 over five years by not replacing a retiring teacher.
George Guido is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.