An early retirement program that was rejected by the Columbus School Board in December will now be re-offered to district teachers. The board agreed Monday to offer the incentive as a way to cut expenses in its general fund.

School officials said at least five teachers must apply for the program or it would not be offered. Eight teachers are eligible.

Under the program, each approved applicant would receive a cash payment that would be equal to 50 percent of the employee’s 2012-13 salary. The cash would be paid over eight equal payments that would begin July 20, 2013, and end on Jan. 20, 2017. Each applicant could also remain on the school’s health insurance program, with the employee paying the premium.

In other action, the board terminated Jake McCullough, junior/senior high school administrative facilitator. Officials said McCullough, who has been in the position for three years, recently pointed out the position required a teaching license, which he has not yet obtained.

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Superintendent Marlene Johnson also provided the board with a copy of a petition about 200 students had signed. The petition urged the board to keep a husband-and-wife teaching team who might be included in upcoming staff reductions.