NP School Board OKs early-retirement option for veteran teachers

John Mueller

Trying to soften the runway for anticipated future budget reductions, the New Prague Area School Board approved offering veteran teachers in the upper quadrant of the salary schedule an early-retirement package they can use for expenses including healthcare plans.

Monday, April 22, the school board, with Director Matt Goldade absent, unanimously approved an early-retirement proposal that calls for veteran teachers who’ve earned a master’s degree and have been teaching more than 15 years to be replaced with young teachers with less experience. The exceptions to the plan will be impacted by licensing requirements.

The proposal is based on at least seven veteran teachers accepting the offer. Dan Holgate, president of Education Minnesota-New Prague, said the union is supportive of the proposal. He said there are at least seven teachers interested in the optional early-retirement plan.

Director Karen Steinhoff, a former teacher, said the offer is tough to support but in the district’s best interest because of its financial picture. She said it “hurts my heart" to see experienced, skilled teachers leave even though they have worked for many years and are ready to begin the next chapter of their lives. “That’s our reality right now,” she said.

(For the complete story, see the April 25 print edition of The New Prague Times.)



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