Q. According to the superintendent of Pleasant Valley, retiring teachers in Pleasant Valley Community School District who meet an age and time of service criteria receive a half year's salary, which is (approximately $30,000 to $40,000 bonus) paid out over two years along with their pension. The superintendent says this saves the Pleasant Valley Community School District money. Do North Scott, Bettendorf or Davenport schools also use this cost-saving measure? If not, why? If all the school districts would use this, they wouldn't have to ask the governor or the residents in their respective districts for more money. — Another very concerned Pleasant Valley taxpayer
A. We contacted the Pleasant Valley, North Scott, Bettendorf and Davenport school districts to find out:
Dr. Jim Spelhaug, Pleasant Valley superintendent, responded:
"Pleasant Valley offers an early retirement incentive for employees. The requirements are that they are at least 55 and have been in the district for at least 15 years. The formula has some variances across employee classifications but generally is half of the salary spread over a two-year period. This has been a useful tool for budget savings and also in attracting and retaining employees."
Joe Stutting, North Scott superintendent, responded:
"North Scott has only done it when there is a short fall. The last time was four and five years ago. The management fund is used to pay for the incentive."
Maxine McEnany, Bettendorf director of finance, responded:
"The Bettendorf Community School District implements an early retirement incentive to employees who are at least 55 years of age and been employed full-time with the district for at least 15 years when it is fiscally beneficial for the district. We have done it in times of little or no allowable growth from the state, in times of declining enrollment, and in times when we are implementing new programs.
"I have attached the early retirement incentive the district is offering for employees at the end of this 2016/2017 year."
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Dawn Saul, Davenport schools communications/media relations, responded:
"The Davenport Community School District has offered an Early Retirement Incentives during the 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and now the 2015-2016 fiscal years. Employees who wish to retire and meet age and time of service requirements may be eligible to receive $25,000-$40,000 depending upon their years of service. This incentive will be offered again for fiscal year 2017-2018. While offering the early retirement incentives can help districts reduce costs, it may only account for a portion of the total budget reductions needed."