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Brandon Schools to offer early retirement, again

December 16, 2009 - Brandon Twp.- The school board is moving forward with plans to offer an early retirement incentive to eligible teachers in the district.

The board has received two proposals from firms that specialize in financial planning for school districts. One of the companies offering to formulate a plan for teacher buyouts is Educators Preferred Corporation, which handled the last buyout in the district nearly three years ago, which 21 teachers took advantage of.

During the Dec. 14 school board meeting, Executive Director of Fiscal Affairs Jamie Cowan said early consultations have shown a minimum of 14 teachers would need to take the early retirement incentive for it to make financial sense.

"We were pleasantly surprised to find financial benefits (to offering an early retirement incentive) so soon after the last buyout," she said. "We can set a minimum requirement and have an out if we don't get it." Cowan has estimated that an early retirement incentive could save the district $655,824, the biggest windfall on a list of cost-savings ideas she presented the finance committee with earlier this month, as the district prepares for devastating cuts in per-pupil funding.

Superintendent Lorrie McMahon called the early retirement incentive doable and said it would have good effects, particularly since the district may lose another 100 students next year.

"We have an opportunity to offer early retirement rather than lay off two new teachers," she said. McMahon expects to have bids and a detailed plan for the early retirement incentive by the next board meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Jan. 11, at the central office, 1025 S. Ortonville Road.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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