Urbana extends early retirement incentive to Feb. 1

URBANA — Urbana teachers who are currently eligible for an early retirement incentive through the school district will have until Feb. 1 to sign up.

The school board unanimously approved that extension at its meeting Tuesday.

And board members will discuss at a later date, probably in February, whether it will end the incentive.

The incentive allows eligible teachers to give the school district three years' notice of their retirement. In return, they receive a 6 percent salary increase for each of those three years.

Several board members, including Paul Poulosky, Ruth Ann Fisher and Elaine Gehrmann, said they wanted to discuss the issue more in open session before making a decision. Poulosky said in particular he'd like to find out what the state decides to do about pension reform.

"I just really think we need to (decide) judiciously, with all the information possible," Poulosky said.

The school district's negotiating team told the teachers union it might make changes or end the incentive while it was negotiating the teachers' most recent contract. The board approved that contract this summer.

The board also unanimously approved its final tax levy for next year. It will ask for $29.1 million.

Last year, the school district asked for about $28.5 million and received about $27.7 million.

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