NILES SCHOOLS 4 teachers to retire under plan

The program will save money in the long run, the superintendent says.
NILES -- Teachers who plan to retire from the city school district this year are halfway to getting a $15,000 incentive bonus.
Board of education members accepted Thursday the letters of four teachers who plan to retire by July 1.
Marlane M. Bufwack will retire as a high school math teacher effective April 1, while Carol A. Kauffman, Mary Lou Shamrock and Marianne C. DeMarco plan to retire July 1. Kauffman teaches remedial math and reading at Washington Elementary, Shamrock serves as the in-school suspension teacher at the high school and middle school, and DeMarco is a physical education teacher at the high school.
Last fall, the board and the teaching staff agreed to extend the terms of the previous contract, with some modifications. One change included the $15,000 retirement incentive bonus, payable provided a minimum of eight teachers announce they will retire by Aug. 1.
Superintendent Patrick N. Guliano said other teachers who are eligible for the plan have until March 15 to announce their intent to retire.
Guliano said the program will help the district save money in the long run, which will help the schools balance their budget in the coming years. Currently the district is under state-imposed fiscal watch status.
The incentive program allows the schools to reduce the staff through attrition as opposed to layoffs, Guliano said.
"If you can reduce your numbers through attrition, then you aren't hurting anyone," he said. "If you are forced to lay someone off, then people are hurt."
Eligibility requirements
To qualify for the incentive program, the employees must have worked in the district for a minimum of 10 years and must agree to retire into the State Teachers Retirement System.
If the required number of employees do announce their retirement by the deadline, they will each receive a $5,000 payment on or before Oct. 31, 2005, and the remaining $10,000 by Oct. 31, 2006.