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N. Lehigh board declines early retirement plan

Published November 14. 2013 05:00PM

Northern Lehigh School District has once again declined to offer an early retirement incentive plan to its professional employees.

The school board, on an 8-0 vote on Monday, agreed to reject the plan for all eligible professional employees, on a voluntary basis, for the 2013-14 school year. Director Natalie Green was absent.

This marks the third consecutive year the board has rejected the plan.

In the 2010-11 school year, the district was able to offset a then $1.5 million shortfall through the creation of the plan, which saw 14 teachers agree to be included.

The program asked those high-end teachers who accounted 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 at that time.

Those teachers received a $25,000 incentive paid into a tax shelter account in two equal amounts of $12,500.

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 at that time.

In other business:

•High school Principal Robert Vlasaty introduced members of Northern Lehigh High School Student Council to the board. The student officers were recognized, at which time the group gave a rundown of its activities and events.

• Superintendent Michael Michaels lauded the district's transportation agreement with Brandywine Transportation. "It has been outstanding," Michaels said. "Anytime we call, Brandywine is always there."

•Michaels announced that American Education Week will be celebrated the week of Nov. 18-22. "We are the hidden gem," Michaels said. "We have great kids, great teachers, great administrators, and great board members."

• Assistant Superintendent Karen Nicholas said the Parent Involvement Event will be held at Barnes & Noble this evening.

• Michaels announced that the Dec. 2 School Board Reorganization Meeting will be held at 7:15 p.m., with the regular board meeting to follow at 7:30 p.m. There are no December committee meetings.

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