Hayden schools to work with retirees

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Allowing retired teachers to continue working for another year is beneficial to Hayden schools and students -- not to mention the teachers, Hayden School District officials say.

The district's problem is that there never has been a policy that sets guidelines for who can be "rehired" and what salaries and conditions are placed on those teachers.

What: Hayden School Board

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Hayden High Schoolvideoconference room

"It's (been) kind of a nightmare," Hayden Superintendent Mike Luppes said Tuesday.

At the Hayden School Board meeting Wednesday night, School Board members will have a second reading of a policy that Luppes hopes will eliminate some of the inconsistencies in extending a retired teacher's employment.

"It's kind of a win-win situation for both teachers and the school district," Luppes said.

Public Employees Retirement Association rules allow Col-orado teachers to continue working -- after they officially announce their retirement -- for two 110-day periods.

"They can retire, start receiving retirement benefits, and for one year, they can also get a salary," Luppes said.

Since the summer, Hayden school officials have studied what policies other school districts have adopted with the hope of creating their own.

"Before, it was whatever got negotiated out individually," Luppes said.

Some school districts do not offer post-retirement work to teachers, Luppes said.

"If we have a good, experienced teacher, we'd like to keep them for what we can," Luppes said.

Hayden's policy would require teachers interested in taking advantage of post-retirement employment to first make their retirement official, after which the district will have the option of rehiring them.

"We have had a lot of inconsistencies in how that was applied in the past," Luppes said.

If teachers are rehired, they would be paid annual salaries based on their experience. In addition to earning salaries, the post-retirement employees would collect retirement benefits from PERA.

The new policy could allow the district to better plan its budget and save money, Luppes said.

"It definitely makes it easier for us, budget-wise, to know where we're at," Luppes said.

The policy also states that post-retirement teachers would receive the same benefits as regular district employees.

In other business, the School Board will:

Review and approve the 2006-07 academic calendar.

Approve a capital expenditure expense of $6,996 for school bus radio equipment.

Approve the professional staff salary schedule and review some changes to teacher prerequisites. The change would give credit for as many as 10 years experience for work in preschool through college levels. The previous prerequisite gave as many as five years of credit for work in kindergarten through high school levels.

-- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210 or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

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