Paying Off Teachers

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Baltimore Sun

Feb 14, 1:00 AM

City offers buyout for 750 schoolteachers

Baltimore city school officials are encouraging as many as 750 of the city's most experienced teachers to retire by April — a measure that school officials say will help mitigate budget shortfalls and prevent potential layoffs as the system girds for an expected reduction in teaching positions next year. In a letter sent Friday to 3,200 eligible teachers, the school system outlined details of an early-retirement buyout program that would allow between 350 and 750 teachers with more than 10 years' experience to leave the system and receive 75 percent of their current annual salary over a five-year period. Teachers would need to commit to the plan by April 15. The buyout measure, unprecedented for Baltimore schools, comes as the system is grappling with a $73 million gap in the fiscal 2012 budget, as well as with a possible $15 million cut in state funding. City schools CEO Andrés Alonso said that "inducing retirements" was a "creative way" for the district to cope with financial uncertainty.

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