District won't offer early retirement incentive plan
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh High School Assistant Principal Scott Pyne (left) and high school Principal Robert Vlasaty (right) display a portrait of the High School All-Pro Team, to board members on Monday.
Northern Lehigh School District has opted to not offer an Early Retirement Incentive Plan in the 2011-12 school year.
The school board unanimously agreed on Monday to reject the plan for all eligible employees, which would have been on a voluntary basis.
Superintendent Michael Michaels explained to the TIMES NEWS after the meeting the reason why the board shot down the plan.
"The board feels it's only good if used only every several years," Michaels said. "Otherwise, people get used to it."
Michaels said the board had expressed its desire to offer the plan only every so often.
"They feel it should only be used occasionally," he said. "If we offer it every year, then it's not an incentive."
The district was able to offset a $1.5 million shortfall in the 2010-11 school year with the creation of the plan, which saw 14 teachers agree to be included in the plan.
The board agreed to adopt the plan last January for all eligible professional employees, on a voluntary basis, for the 2010-11 school year. The program asked those high-end teachers who account for about $111,000 per position to retire and not be replaced, which resulted in a savings of over $1 million in the district's fund balance and long-range plan.
As per the program, the teachers will receive a $25,000 incentive paid into a tax shelter account in two equal amounts of $12,500 on Oct. 31, 2011, and Feb. 8, 2012.
One of the major components of that plan was to recommend that the board institute a retirement incentive for all teachers district wide. As a result, the district was able to cut $1,506,000 from its salary and benefits budget.
Also on Monday, the board was told by student representatives that the high school Marching Band recently earned its highest placement ever in school history when it competed at the Atlantic Coast Championship in Hershey.
The band, which garnered a 93.2 score, finished fourth out of 30 bands.
In other business, the board:
• Authorized administration to purchase two new Wrangler 2730 DB Wheel Drive Variable Speed Walk Behind Automatic Floor Scrubbers from Northeast Janitorial Supply, LLC, in the amount of $7,530 each, to be paid from the Equipment Replacement fund.
• Approved the first reading of school board policy #103, Programs, Nondiscrimination in School and Classroom Policies.
• Approved the second reading of school board policy #620, Finances, Fund Balance.
• Approved Portnoff Law Associates as delinquent real estate tax collectors for the Northern Lehigh School District for the 2011 tax year.
• Approved a resolution directing Northampton County Tax Claim Bureau not to collect delinquent taxes on behalf of Northern Lehigh School District.
• Approved the resolution directing Lehigh County Tax Claim Bureau not to collect delinquent taxes on behalf of Northern Lehigh School District.
• Approved the 2011-12 Northern Lehigh District Salary Schedule.
• Approved changes to the Northern Lehigh School District Emergency Operations Plan.
• Granted homebound instruction for a sixth-grade student, student no. 1890153, for five hours per week, effective Nov. 2, 2011, and continuing for the remainder of the 2011-12 school year.