After two-hours of discussion, the Sioux City Community School District votes five to two Monday night to approve a new early retirement plan.
Even though only 36 district employees are eligible for the program, there was passionate public comment and a heated exchange of words between board members, tonight.
Some felt the timing for the plan was wrong, because the district is actually planning to add teachers.
Although the district stands to save half a million dollars, tax payers would have to foot the bill for those early retirement benefits.
However, supporters say the program will open up opportunities for younger teachers who are more comfortable with technology, more energized, and more diverse.
"There's nothing worse than someone who's in education who goes to work because it's a job. There are different ways we can ask those people to leave, and this is one with dignity,” said former educator and school board member Dr. Mike McTaggart.
“Are we going to tax a large population in order to satisfy a few people,” asked board member Paul Gorski, who voted along with Board President Mike Krysl, against the plan.
To be eligible, employees have to be over 62-years-old, and have worked for the district for 25 consecutive years.
The most a retiree could collect is $4,800 a year for three years.
The amount would be based on the number of sick days that employee had accumulated.
The program has no end date, but will be reassessed by the board on an annual basis.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Kathy Clayton at (712) 239-4100 x209. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.