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UPDATE: Hamilton County teachers will get early retirement option

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Hamilton County school board members approved, by a 7-1 vote, an early retirement incentive that will enable eligible employees to retire this year. School officials say it will be a short-term windfall for teachers, administrators, and staff members, with long-term savings for the school system.

Several principals, including Rick Rushworth of Lookout Valley High School, have already informed their teachers that they plan to retire this year.  Some central office administrators are also eligible to retire with full benefits.  he early incentive would reportedly be available for teachers and classified employees, as well.

District 1 board representative Rhonda Thurman opposed the plan.  She says she is puzzled by the incentive, “because we don’t have enough qualified people to replace a wave of retirees.” She is concerned about vacancies in principals’ offices.  “We haven’t trained enough people to be good principals,” she said.

Hamilton County’s school system has not offered an early retirement incentive since 2009. The 2018 plan includes these provisions:. 

  • 25 years of service and above - one-time incentive of 25 percent of annual salary
  • 20 to 24 years of service - one-time incentive of 20 percent of annual salary
  • 10+ years of service and age 65  - one-time bonus of 15 percent of annual salary

Hundreds of the school system's employees will be eligible to retire with the early incentive plan. The deadline to announce their intention to retire has already been extended from February 1st to March 15th.

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