By Charles Sercombe
Some 20 teachers and other public school employees took advantage of a state buyout to retire.
Their retirement will initially cost the district $440,000, but School Superintendent Tom Niczay said the district will end up saving a considerable amount of money in the years to come.
Just how much that will be hasn’t yet been calculated. But the average salary of the teachers and administrators retiring is $70,000, Niczay said. Niczay said the savings comes from hiring young teachers, who start out with a salary of $38,000, which is a saving of $32,000 per position.
The cost-saving move was initiated by the state to help districts — many of which are running deficits – to save money. Hamtramck’s public school district has a $2.8 million deficit.
The district has a five-year plan to balance its budget. Niczay said the retirements will help reduce the deficit in the long run.
Included in those retiring are popular Kosciuszko Middle School band director James DeNardis and longtime teacher/principal Michael Zygmontowicz.
There are other cost-saving proposals being considered by the state legislature. One is to force public school teachers to pool together and receive the same health insurance plan. That action, which is opposed by the state teachers’ union, would save millions of dollars.
In other school-related news, Republican Congressmembers defeated a proposal by the Obama administration to provide millions of dollars in financial support to school districts.
Asked what he would tell Congress about that defeat, Niczay said: “Spend money on schools not Afghanistan.”