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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • YME school board offers retirement incentives

  • Incentives will now be offered to Yellow Medicine East staff members for retirement and extended leaves of absence as a cost saving measure to offset the expenses of deficit spending.
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    Incentives will now be offered to Yellow Medicine East staff members for retirement and extended leaves of absence as a cost saving measure to offset the expenses of deficit spending.
    The school board approved a leave of absence incentive at a special Tuesday morning meeting that would allow for a YME certified staff member to take a three to five year leave of absence, with the district paying both shares of teacher retirement and $7,500 a year toward health insurance.
    To qualify, teachers have to be 55 years of age and have served the YME district for 15 years.
    The combined health insurance and TRA payments are small compared to the estimated $15,000-20,000 in annual net savings per experienced staff member that would be replaced with a fledgling teacher. The savings would be even higher if that position was absorbed by attrition.
    “Anytime there is attrition, we really look at if we need to replace that person or not,” Superintendent Al Stoeckman said.
    One teacher, who remained unnamed, has expressed interest, but any number of qualifying staff members could file to the district office by the July 21 regular school board meeting.
    The board also approved a one-time $5,000 retirement incentive for any member of the Minnesota School Employees Association (MSEA).
    The payments would come from the OPEB fund and not the general fund.
    “Again, there would be an immediate savings,” Stoeckman said, as the $5,000 incentive pales in comparison to the difference in pay and benefits for a retirement-aged teacher and a new hiree.
    As with the leave of absence incentive, one unnamed teacher has expressed interest.
    General Election
    The school board approved resolutions to call for a school district general election as well as establishing dates for filing for candidacy.
    Three seats will be open at the November 4 general election: Steve Rupp, Shelly Weir and Dawn Odegard.
    The filing period for school board member candidacy runs from July 29 to August 12.

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