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FWISD Gives More Money As Incentive For Early Teacher Retirement

(credit: ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) -  Teachers in the Fort Worth Independent School District, who are considering retirement or resignation, now have more motivation. FWISD Superintendent Melody Johnson will ask the school board to boost early notification incentive pay to $5,000.

Johnson says some teachers have questioned why the incentive isn’t as big as the Dallas Independent School District’s $10,000 offer to teachers.

“The offer we’re making is actually far better,” explained Johnson. “Along with Fort Worth ISDs unique ‘Terminal Pay’ many of our teachers have potentially a much more lucrative payout.”

‘Terminal Pay’ is a one-time payment for eligible teachers who are retiring from the Fort Worth ISD. Johnson went on to say, “If you have been with the district for 35 years you could be able to claim an ‘Terminal Pay’ and incentive total this year of $26,069.”

The new offer still faces school board approval Tuesday night. If the board approves the offer amount it will be available for the first 600 teachers claiming the deal.

The deadline for teachers to notify the district about their end of the year retirement is March 23rd. The school board is considering freezing ‘Terminal Pay’ and even lowering the pay-outs after this year.

District officials say teachers who accepted lesser offers for retirement earlier will be given the latest payout plan amount.

Johnson is also ready to trim the price tag for the Pre-K program. “Our final recommendation to the board will be to continue Pre-K as a full-day program, but without the teaching assistants,” she said. The Pre-K cuts would save a total of $5 million.

The proposals are meant to help trim an expected budget shortfall of as much as $80 million over the next two years. “We are in an economic reality where we have to make some tough decisions,” explained FWISD spokesman Clint Bond. “And this is an effort to say, ‘we don’t know where those tough decisions are going to come down. So, here is an option for you to consider as you go forward’.”

Officials with the Fort Worth ISD are concerned that as many as 1,000 teacher jobs could be cut unless the budget is pared back.

Click here to learn more about the FWISD latest incentives for teacher retirement and hear the superintendent’s pitch to teachers.