On Wednesday night the Interim Decorah Community School Board directed Superintendent Mike Haluska to proceed with the legal consult and preparation of an early retirement plan option for North Winneshiek and Decorah teachers. The Board intent is to approve the plan at their December 19 meeting. That will allow the offers to get to eligible teachers by Winter Break, and give the district their reply by January 11.
12 Decorah teachers and one North Winneshiek teacher appear to be eligible, having reached the age of 55 and a combination of years of service plus age to equal at least 80. The proposed plan parallels earlier Decorah retirement packages, last offered in 2013-14. Generally, the package provides one half year of the teacher's annual salary to be divided over 3 years, and up to 8 years of health insurance benefits valued at approximately $7,500 per year.
The average total cost of the retirement package per teacher to the district is about $75,000.
A driving factor for the package is to reduce the potential of "pink slipping" any teachers as North Winneshiek teachers transition into the Decorah schools next year when the districts complete their merger.