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New Retirement Plan for CHS Teachers

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The majority of teachers, young and old, attended a meeting on March 27 to see if the new Supplementary Retirement Plan will be beneficial for them. With recent public school budget cuts, CUSD is installing a cash bonus to teachers over the age of 55 with 5 years of district service who are interested in resigning before the end of the year. CUSD is bringing this project to attention because of state budget cuts and it is cheaper for the school to hire a new teacher. The retirement is completely voluntary, but the CHS staff eligible for the new budget program will only be offered this bonus once.

Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS) representative, Amy Wallace, gave a presentation explaining the guidelines of the retirement plan. There would be a 40% added cash bonus to a staff member’s lifetimes monthly payment from the district if they were to resign this year only. PARS understands that this is a huge life decision for staff members to pack up their desk or classroom and leave the district by the end of the year. The district wants staff to know that this is not a way for the district to push them out of a job. With recent budget cuts to the district, it would be cheaper to hire a new staff member being payed $40,000 than a teacher or office member who has had 20 years of service being paid $90,000 or more annually.  If a teacher working for the district decides to stay on staff and refuse the bonus, then they would be following the normal path to retirement and will not be offered this 40% boost in money again.

AP Composition teacher,  Kermet Dixson has worked for the Claremont District for 19 years and is looking forward to the Supplementary Retirement Plan since she would  be able to retire sooner than planned, but she will be making a bonus in doing so.

“For me, it works. If the program goes through, I will definitely retire. I am in the age right now where I am definitely ready to retire,” Dixson said. I think it is a good idea and it makes financial sense for the district to do this with the district not getting additional money from the state, and so, they need to be able to look at their funds and make decisions on what they think looks best,”

While there are staff members who want to take part in helping the district, there are still CHS staff who are still on the fence. Spanish teacher, Amanda Garcia-Lopez has worked for the district for 17 years and is unsure if she wants to leave her students and take the bonus that comes with the early retirement.

“I came to seek information in order to make a wise decision.I am not sure yet, it is an incentive and each individual needs to consider if it right for them.” Garcia-Lopez said.

Each CHS staff member was sent a packet in their school mailbox with the proper forms that go with being a part of PARS along with a letter of resignation. If a staff member does not send in his or her resignation by April 28, 2017, they will not be eligible for the early retirement and is advised to shred the documents sent to them in the packet as their names will be taken off of the list.

The Claremont District loves all of its staff members, but there is not enough money in the district to be able to pay everyone without furlough days to cover the costs and wants its staff to know that they are not driving them out of their job; this retirement plan is only an option. The Supplementary Retirement Plan will help office staff and teachers get a head start on their retirement and for them not to need to work as hard for the following years of their lives.  

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New Retirement Plan for CHS Teachers