In a bid to shave costs, the Board of Education plans to offer an early retirement program soon that would allow schools to replace higher paid older teachers with cheaper young ones.
School Superintendent Philip Streifer said Tuesday the early retirement plan he intends to announce shortly would be in place for those who retire before next July. He did not disclose details.
The school system, which spends $100 million annually, is taking steps to try to hold down expenses.
Streifer told the Board of Finance he is attempting to “save out of the gate” by holding back 20 percent of all the money in non-salary accounts in hopes that it won’t be needed.
During the last fiscal year, which ended in June, the schools wound up with a $650,000 surplus because of a spending freeze and a successful effort to cut cafeteria costs.
That money will be returned to the city’s general fund soon, officials said.
“There’s a lot we didn’t do,” he said. But, the superintendent said, “We educated the kids.”
Streifer said he’ll ask for the cash back when next year’s budget is prepared because he’ll need it to cope with rising costs.
The school board will likely consider the early retirement program at its next meeting.
The city faces an $8.6 million budget gap for the 2010-11 budget even before school spending is included.
“We have a monumental task ahead of us,” city Comptroller Glenn Klocko said.
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