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Capo Looks to Entice Teachers to Retire

The school board will consider offering annuity financial incentives to encourage older teachers to call it quits.

The wants to motivate older, more highly paid teachers to retire.  

Some would be replaced with younger counterparts at lower salaries; some may not be replaced at all.

On Wednesday, the school board will consider offering incentives – called a “supplementary retirement plan” in district-speak – to encourage veteran teachers to hang up the chalk.

“Savings are achieved by replacing veteran senior employees with less senior employees who are lower on the salary schedule,” according to a staff report. “In addition ... certain positions may not be replaced, further increasing savings.”

The district plans to tempt teachers to retire with a fixed annuity through the Public Agency Retirement Services, an agency that administers more than 1,200 retirement plans for various public agencies serving more than 270,000 employees, according to the staff report.

The cost of the incentives wasn't spelled out, but CUSD said the net savings to the district would total at least $600,000 in the first year. If not, the school board has the option of withdrawing the plan, according to the proposal.

The move would help the district cope with budget reductions, the staff report states. The district is , according to the latest figures.

The plan is designed to "incentivize retirement for many senior veteran employees over and above natural attrition,” the report says.

As times get tough, the tough do not get going. In 2007-08, 84 teachers retired, but that number plunged to 26 who retired in 2010-11, the staff report states. 

Since 2009, Capo has cut its teaching force by 344, the staff report states. To this day, nearly 400 teachers remain on a waiting list to be rehired. Among them are 265 veteran teachers and 127 newly hired temporary teachers.

Teachers in non-management positions who want to take the deal would have to declare by the end of February that they would retire by June 30.

The board meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

Pam Sunderman January 25, 2012 at 06:18 AM
So you have no answer to my question?
Penny Arévalo January 25, 2012 at 04:46 PM
While it is true that Alpay didn't receive any direct financial support from the union, he didn't have to. The union supported heavily the recall of Mike Winsten. With no other candidate running, Alpay was a shoo-in should the recall be successful. So he indirectly benefited. I think it's fair to say that. Even Dr. Farley believes Alpay is union-backed. In the DA's September report, it states: "On Nov. 2, 2010, in a vigorously contested recall election, three new trustees were elected to replace others on the Board. During the re-opened inquiry the Superintendent indicated that these three had been actively supported by the teachers and CUEA."
Pam Sunderman January 25, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Penny, Do you think that the current board makes it's decisions based only on what may benefit teachers?
Penny Arévalo January 25, 2012 at 05:16 PM
hard to say. I find many staff reports too incomplete to make the assessment. Take this story. There's no financial data. I don't know how much the annuities will be, I don't know the average older teacher salary. I don't know how replacement teachers would be selected (would the newer, temporary teachers be chosen first before the 10-year veterans because they would save money?), I don't know how the numbers might be different if it's mostly secondary, single-subject-credentialed teachers who retire versus elementary teachers. I do know that the teacher's union said a few months back that retirement incentives were a "long shot" because the numbers didn't pan out. I don't know what changed to make the numbers work. I guess that's the nature of the game. As a journalist, I have more questions than answers.
Capo mom January 26, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Something to consider in all of this; CalSTRS is currently guaranteed a 7.75% gain by the state of California regardless of the performance of their investments. In 2011, CalSTRS' investments yielded 2.3% return on investment. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-26/calstrs-earns-2-3-after-loss-in-offshore-equities-tempers-gains.html This means the fund is 5.4% short for 2011 and that difference comes out of the California's educational funding. So enticing teachers to retire is just using smoke and mirrors to rob Peter and pay Paul. It shifts the focus but doesn't really solve anything.

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