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Capo Looks to Entice Teachers to Retire

The school board will consider offering annuity financial incentives to encourage older teachers to call it quits.

The wants to motivate older, more highly paid teachers to retire.  

Some would be replaced with younger counterparts at lower salaries; some may not be replaced at all.

On Wednesday, the school board will consider offering incentives – called a “supplementary retirement plan” in district-speak – to encourage veteran teachers to hang up the chalk.

“Savings are achieved by replacing veteran senior employees with less senior employees who are lower on the salary schedule,” according to a staff report. “In addition ... certain positions may not be replaced, further increasing savings.”

The district plans to tempt teachers to retire with a fixed annuity through the Public Agency Retirement Services, an agency that administers more than 1,200 retirement plans for various public agencies serving more than 270,000 employees, according to the staff report.

The cost of the incentives wasn't spelled out, but CUSD said the net savings to the district would total at least $600,000 in the first year. If not, the school board has the option of withdrawing the plan, according to the proposal.

The move would help the district cope with budget reductions, the staff report states. The district is , according to the latest figures.

The plan is designed to "incentivize retirement for many senior veteran employees over and above natural attrition,” the report says.

As times get tough, the tough do not get going. In 2007-08, 84 teachers retired, but that number plunged to 26 who retired in 2010-11, the staff report states. 

Since 2009, Capo has cut its teaching force by 344, the staff report states. To this day, nearly 400 teachers remain on a waiting list to be rehired. Among them are 265 veteran teachers and 127 newly hired temporary teachers.

Teachers in non-management positions who want to take the deal would have to declare by the end of February that they would retire by June 30.

The board meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

Capo Parent January 23, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Sounds like another give back. How much will really be saved? No one really knows because CUSD doesn't provide any real data to make that determination. How many teachers are they trying to "retire?" How many teachers will they need to hire to replace the teachers that leave? What is the cost difference between the "retired" teacher and the replacement teacher, taking into account the value of the "golden parachute" the retired is to receive? CUSD and the teachers union determined just a few months ago that CUSD wouldn't realize any real savings? What has changed except for the fact this is a plan that Soderberg really wants. Could it be that Soderberg would personally benefits from such a plan?
Pam Sunderman January 23, 2012 at 09:35 PM
All of your questions have been addressed in the article. If the number of retirees responding to this incentive does not produce the savings needed by the district the plan would not be implemented.
ChangeforCUSD January 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM
$600,000 is an interesting number!! That number is just a little less then the old "reform" board awarded in bogus out of court settlements to Tony and Jennifer Beall, Tom Russell, Jim Reardon and others. That decision was completely wrong based upon that fact that the courts determined that there was no "enemies list". It was political pay back by trustees that received financial and other help from the recipients of those settlements. The $600,000 in proposed savings is a little more than the cost of a totally unnecessary election that was forced upon CUSD voters by the "reform" board and Beall, etc when they voted against the waiver for Measure H. Measure H was approved in November 2010 by almost 66% of the voters. The $600,000 is $200,000 LESS than the election costs of a completely unnecessary special recall election held at the end of June 2008 designed to elect Palazzo and Maddox to the CUSD Board just in time to approve the out of court settlements to those that financed their elections. The Beall/Reardon/Russell "reform" board (some of whom are now long gone) wasted or diverted millions of dollars out of the classrooms to their friends and political cronies. The current CUSD Board of Trustees is working on solutions rather than divisions. The beneficiaries of any plan that saves this much money are the voters, students, parents and taxpayers of CUSD. This isn't a "union" issue. This is common sense and could be good for everyone.
ChangeforCUSD January 24, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Enticing higher paid employees to retire earlier is a time tested and proven method to reduce costs. This is a proven method used, where possible, to reduce short and long term expenses. Knowing that there are still a dozen or so holdovers from the days of Beall cronyism and the "reform" board that are still trying to find fault with the current CUSD board is laughable. TWO of the current trustees were elected with CUEA support. Only TWO out of seven. Any suggestion that the current board is doing CUEA's bidding is a joke. That these criticisms are coming from people that elected SEVEN out of SEVEN "reform" trustees that systematically tried to decimate CUSD over a two year plus period is hypocritical at its most extreme. One of the ways that companies, like Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, reduce costs is to offer exactly these types of retirement incentives to long serving employees. Why is it that every time the current board considers something beneficial to students, teachers or taxpayers the old reform board supporters belittle their efforts but if there is a way to divert funds - ie: Alexander/Tate lawsuits, Palazzao/Addonizio protests, Reardon lawsuits, or even charter schools it is OK? I think the answer is fairly simple and the CUSD voters were very clear in 2010. Reminder: 63% voted YES to recall and almost 67% votes YES on Measure H. Let's pull together and find common ground solutions.
Capo Parent January 24, 2012 at 01:48 AM
ChangeforCUSD To say you are fact challenged is an understatement. The settlement you reference was negotiated by insuring agency for CUSD. The board was basically told that if it didn't settle that the insuring agency was going to pull coverage. The attorney who was assigned to represent CUSD strongly recommend the board settle. The board waived the attorney client privilege so the attorney could explain why he recommended the settlement. I know you don't like to let facts get in the way of your fiction, but hey, some us actually like facts and the truth. FYI, you may want to learn the difference between the burden of proof in a criminal court vs. a civil court before you pontificate about the law. The civil lawsuit was not just about the enemies list. CUSD was looking at having to pay millions. That's why the inusring agency and the attorney it appointed to rep. CUSD both strongly pushed settlement. Sorry the facts don't jive with your fiction. As for your allegation that the reform board wasted or diverted millions of dollars out of the classrooms to their friends and political cronies, what facts do you have to support this allegation besides what you feel the urge to type. The current board majority are lackeys. They give back millions at the same time they are borrowing $105 million and facing have to cut roughly $27 million even if the Brown tax cuts pass. Your "solutions" and what most reasonble people believe are real solutions is like night and day.
Capo Parent January 24, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Golden parachutes might make sense, depending on how the numbers work out. However, that's a continuing problem with CUSD, its failure to provide necessary information. So what numbers and calcuations are you looking at to smugly state paying off teachers to retire will be financially beneficial to CUSD? As for the board majority being in the unions back pocket, let's just say giving money back to unions without voting to do so when a vote was needed kinda of says it all. As for the lawsuits diverting money from CUSD, I notice you didn't mention the lawsuit filed by CUEA against CUSD that costs CUSD over $100,000. Your double standard is laughable. You must be a union hack when you start claiming charter schools, which are public schools, are diverting money. The only money charter schools get in CUSD is the ADA for the kids that attend, and that's after CUSD takes its cut. So, you're against parents having a meaningful choice for educating their children. Why am I not surprise. I am not interested in pulling together with you since you misrepsent the truth and with you it is apprently your way or the highway. As for a solution, how about vouchers. Now that would open up education competition and give all parents real education choices. Heck, I'd be willing to limit the vouchers to public schools or make it simply open enrollment across the region with the ADA money following the student to whatever school he attends.
ChangeforCUSD January 24, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Capo parent - very disappointing but predictable response. Your blog entries read as if they were written by someone who is an attorney, received out of court settlements and perhaps now sends their kid to a private school. Just a guess here but your bias seems clear. I am not a union member and never have been. Because I support public education or CUSD doesn't make me a "hack". Your credibility is now at zero on that subject. CUSD did NOT have to accept the attorney's advice on the "enemies list" lawsuits. In fact three of the seven trustees abstained from that vote. Attorneys on old "reform" board - like Winsten - hired attorneys to give advice as to how to deal with lawsuits filed by attorneys - Beall, Reardon, Russell - and SURPRISE - the attorneys said that the attorneys should pay off the attorneys! EVERY one of the recipients of that $655,000 plus settlements contributed money or materially supported the election of the seven trustees that voted to settle that lawsuit. Legal mumbo speak aside, your friend the DA and The Register and others were found to be wrong. The "enemies list" didn't exist and no one was harmed. As a result of efforts of these attorneys - $655,000 was paid to a small handful of people and $100,000 of that total came directly out of the classroom. That is one example of the old "reform" board diverting funds to their cronies. The result is money out of public education and into the bank accounts of attorneys and private schools
ChangeforCUSD January 24, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Here is just a short list of monies diverted from the classroom by the old "reform" board: 1) $100,000 for the deductible paid when the board agreed to settle with Reardon, Beall, Russel and friends and pay them $655,000 - all of whom supported their candidacy. Losers - kids and CUSD. Winners - attorneys, Beall, Russell, and Reardon. 2) $800,000 spend in a special election in June 2008 for the recall of two trustees. It could have been timed to coincide with the regularly scheduled June primary or wasn't needed at all since both recalled trustees were stepping down. Losers: kids and CUSD. Winners: Palazzo, Maddox and the attorneys they voted to give money too: Beall, Reardon, Russell and others. 3) $500,000 in the election costs charged to CUSD for Measure H which could have been avoided if an election waiver would have been requested. The measure passed by almost 66%. Losers: kids and CUSD. Winners: the old "reform" board and anti-public school supporters. In the interest of keeping this brief that is $1.4 MILLION in money diverted from the classrooms. I believe that was the intention all along - to divert money and make a bad situation in CUSD worse. We are all witnessing this continue as Reardon, Tate, Alexander, Addonizio, Palazzo, etc continue with their expensive legal machinations. Less money for CUSD means more financial trouble. The effort is so transparent and so very wrong. The voters have voted and will again
Penny Arévalo January 24, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Two posts deleted because of insults. Focus on the subject, not each other. Thanks!
ChangeforCUSD January 24, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Thank you Penny. Without even knowing what you deleted - Thank you! The issues of public education and support of public education are too important. Name calling and bashing people personally are counterproductive. My home value is affected by the stability of the local school district. My neighbors teach in Capo, Laguna, Saddleback, Irvine and other districts. Kids in my neighborhood attend local CUSD schools. These are important issues and should be discussed without the political vitriol. Historically, CUSD made mistakes because boards and Superintendents weren't held accountable. As a result people were elected that admittedly had an anti-public school agenda. The community responded in 2010. I think their response was very clear and for the most part definitive. There will be another election in November. That election isn't about pensions, unions, charter schools, vouchers or other "bigger" issues. The election will be about what is best for our kids, our neighborhoods and our home values. CUSD is one of the finest school districts in the U.S. It doesn't need to be used as a punching bag for right or left leaning education policy theories. We now have a very stable and effective situation. The current school board is working diligently to heal the wounds of the past ten years. We should support them in those efforts. Maybe the offering of early retirement is a good idea and will save CUSD money. If it doesn't pencil out it won't happen.
V. Duvall January 24, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Everyone here needs to stop bantering back and forth. We all know the problem here is waste. Waste waste waste, and of course administration. This includes wasteful special elections, recall elections, etc. I just see waste. Cut the high paid administrators by 50%, all of them, and cut out ALL of the waste and you'll have an instant surplus. Try electing the people you want the first time instead of recalling the ones you just elected. I just see $600,000. here and $800,000. there and wonder what great things that money could have been spent on. Music, Art, Sports, Good teachers, caring support staff..... Stop sending the same people to the same seminars, classes and conferences and keep them at the schools teaching and managing. I'm so glad my kids are grown and done with school.
ChangeforCUSD January 24, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Amen Duvall and thanks for the addition. Those of us that worked to pass Measure H did so primarily to save CUSD hundreds of thousands of dollars in election costs. Starting this year it will cost CUSD $300,000 to $400,000 less each election. The total savins will be millions each decade. That is money that used to go to the OC Registrar of Voters that now stays in the classroom. The same group of parents recalled two trustees because they voted to approve the out of court settlements and the obvious savings to election costs that resulted from Measure H. The recall was placed on the November ballot so that we could combine election costs with the general election. We can't get the money back that was wastefully spent over the past decade but we did replace those trustees responsible for the waste with people that hopefully won't repeat the same mistakes. Perhaps there are savings in administration and those savings might be huge. As voters we can try to work to elect responsible trustees that value and support public education and don't try to push radical agendas that end up costing the schools - and the taxpayers - millions of dollars. We now have a stable and working board of trustees. Two of the old "reform" trustees still on the board are now part of the working majority. That is such a hopeful sign that differing groups can unite for the common good. We need more examples of this type of coorperation in our publically elected officials.
Capo mom January 24, 2012 at 10:42 PM
More teacher payoffs. That seems to be the consistent strategy for the union's board. Getting rid of some of the dead wood is a good idea, however. Unfortunately this move is likely to result in further class size increases.
ChangeforCUSD January 24, 2012 at 11:51 PM
The last post was inaccurate There is no "union" board. Alpay didn't receive an endorsement or $$ from CUEA. Brick, Addonizio, Bryson and Palazzo are all part of the "reform" board. It seems now that 4 or 5 trustees have pulled together to do what is good for ALL students and constituents of CUSD, labeling people as "union" supporters or "hacks" is the strategy. The strategic interests in this deflection are: avoid paying back the out of court settlement monies which the recipients promised to pay back to CUSD; avoid dealing with the millions wasted or diverted from CUSD in bogus lawsuits and other diversions/bad policy; and the continued attempt to label parents of CUSD students who also happen to be CUSD trustees as something bad. The last election proved that the voters in South Orange County don't buy that "union" nonsense. Reminders - Not a single precinct in Maddox's or Winsten's home cities voted to let them keep their office. All but 15 precincts in CUSD voted to recall both trustees = over 62% of the total vote All but five precincts voted yes on Measure H. Almost 65% of the voters said we should elect trustees by trustee areas. It was the old "reform" trustees, their handful of backers, their attorneys and the recipients of those out of court settlements that asked voters to reject H and the recalls. Our local voters aren't stupid and they didn't fall for the "union" take over nonsense. Let's move on and put kids and CUSD first
Capo mom January 25, 2012 at 01:42 AM
You can spin as you like, Change but since the union's board was sworn in things have improved for union members (secret salary restorations and increased benefit contributions) and deteriorated for the students in CUSD (increased class sizes and fewer services). This is just more of the same. Here a reminder for you - someone said here a few months ago that liars lie. I have to agree. The union trustees lied throughout their campaigns, they lied about their kickback to the union. It goes on and on. When you suggest putting kids first it is more of the same.
Pam Sunderman January 25, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Simply calling it a "union board" doesn't make it so. What evidence do you have of any undue influence by the teacher's association over each of the board members individually? On what do you base your opinion?
V. Duvall January 25, 2012 at 02:31 AM
You two are arguing about something you will never see eye to eye on. Sounds like you will never agree. You should put all this anger and energy into something more useful like working together to fix the things you see are wrong. There are lots of accusations flying around here. I hope you both have your facts straight and you're not fanning the fire just to make a point.
V. Duvall January 25, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I was not referring to "jollygirl: in my last comment.
Capo mom January 25, 2012 at 06:03 AM
just wondering; since the last election when CUEA went on strike and contributed several hundreds thousand dollars for their propaganda; Haven't average teacher salaries in CUSD actually increased? Haven't average class sizes increased? How have kids in CUSD benefited? Please be specific.
Pam Sunderman January 25, 2012 at 06:18 AM
So you have no answer to my question?
Penny Arévalo January 25, 2012 at 04:46 PM
While it is true that Alpay didn't receive any direct financial support from the union, he didn't have to. The union supported heavily the recall of Mike Winsten. With no other candidate running, Alpay was a shoo-in should the recall be successful. So he indirectly benefited. I think it's fair to say that. Even Dr. Farley believes Alpay is union-backed. In the DA's September report, it states: "On Nov. 2, 2010, in a vigorously contested recall election, three new trustees were elected to replace others on the Board. During the re-opened inquiry the Superintendent indicated that these three had been actively supported by the teachers and CUEA."
Pam Sunderman January 25, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Penny, Do you think that the current board makes it's decisions based only on what may benefit teachers?
Penny Arévalo January 25, 2012 at 05:16 PM
hard to say. I find many staff reports too incomplete to make the assessment. Take this story. There's no financial data. I don't know how much the annuities will be, I don't know the average older teacher salary. I don't know how replacement teachers would be selected (would the newer, temporary teachers be chosen first before the 10-year veterans because they would save money?), I don't know how the numbers might be different if it's mostly secondary, single-subject-credentialed teachers who retire versus elementary teachers. I do know that the teacher's union said a few months back that retirement incentives were a "long shot" because the numbers didn't pan out. I don't know what changed to make the numbers work. I guess that's the nature of the game. As a journalist, I have more questions than answers.
Capo mom January 26, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Something to consider in all of this; CalSTRS is currently guaranteed a 7.75% gain by the state of California regardless of the performance of their investments. In 2011, CalSTRS' investments yielded 2.3% return on investment. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-26/calstrs-earns-2-3-after-loss-in-offshore-equities-tempers-gains.html This means the fund is 5.4% short for 2011 and that difference comes out of the California's educational funding. So enticing teachers to retire is just using smoke and mirrors to rob Peter and pay Paul. It shifts the focus but doesn't really solve anything.

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