MCC board may save teacher’s job, offers early retirement

October 23, 2013

SCOTTVILLE — In the wake of Monday night’s regular board of eduction meeting, when the school board voted to eliminate two teaching positions, the Mason County Central board held a special meeting this morning and agreed to offer early retirement incentives to the district’s teaching staff.

On Monday, the board voted 4-3 to eliminate two secondary (middle school or high school) math and science positions in order to balance the district’s budget. The potential budget deficit is a result of 48 less students this year (see related story).

One of the positions was held by teacher Sherryl Martin, who passed away earlier this fall. While no specific teacher was named officially, the general public quickly learned that the other position was that of Jack Stibitz, who has taught at MCC for 18 years. Stibitz teaches eighth grade math.

Superintendent Jeff Mount said, prior to Monday’s meeting, that the area of math and science in the secondary level was chosen based on current small class sizes in those two areas.

Dozens of district residents, parents, teachers and students attended Monday’s meeting, mostly expressing their concern that Stibitz would be losing his job. By law, the board can no longer lay off faculty by seniority alone. They must consider several other factors. Mount said all six secondary science and math teachers are highly qualified to teach.

One of the topics raised Monday, by high school English teacher James Stuart, representing the MCC Educational Association, was that the board should consider early retirement. Mount said that option was offered in the spring and no faculty member chose to accept it. He said that the board considered it again this fall but chose to go the route of layoffs instead.

The early retirement incentive will pay a teacher $12,000 a year for three years for a total of $36,000 if they retire by Nov. 13 or $8,000 a year for three years for a total of $24,000 if they retire by Dec. 6.

Obviously, in order to save the district money and to save Stibitz’ job, a faculty member must accept the early retirement incentive.

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