The San Diego Union-Tribune reports: “The San Diego Unified School District has expanded its offer of $25,000 buyouts to hundreds of veteran educators – including two dozen who already are retired.”
The district is set to pay a total of $600,000 in retroactive bonuses to those who stopped working last year.
The incentives, negotiated with the teachers’ union and approved in a closed session, will kick in only if at least 100 teachers with 20 years or more of experience submit irrevocable retirement papers by May 1.
The union pushed for the bonuses for recent retirees, saying it was a matter of equity, but taxpayers questioned the move. Parent advocate Lisa Berlanga, executive director of the nonprofit UpForEd, said: “Giving cash incentives to teachers who already retired just doesn’t make sense to me. Kids have lost a lot of programs, nursing time, five days of instruction with furloughs. I can think of all kinds of things the district could use that money for.”
The district’s budget plan is to cut costs next year by cutting staff through attrition instead of layoffs. The district faces a projected $92 million deficit to next year’s $1.1 billion operating budget. (Source: San Diego Union-Tribune, March 27.)