1,400 LAUSD Employees Sign Up for Early Retirement

About 1,400 Los Angeles Unified School District employees have signed up for early retirement -- a move that could save some of 3,500 nonpermanent teaching positions at risk, it was reported Wednesday.

Because of seniority and other union rules, district officials are not sure of how the early retirement plan will shake out, but Vivian Ekchian, interim chief of human resources, told the Daily News she was optimistic.

"I'm being optimistic, but this response could ensure that little or no principals will be bumped out of their school sites and fewer assistant principals will also be bumped," she told the newspaper.

The 1,360 teachers, counselors, administrators who have signed up for early retirement would get about 40 percent of their 2009-10 salary over the next five years or longer, in addition to his or her normal pension, according to the Daily News.
The buyouts, the first offered by the district in 17 years, should dampen the effect of pending layoffs. The district recently sent out notices to 5,400 employees, telling them that their jobs could be eliminated in the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

Teachers will have until May 8 to sign up for the early retirement plan, which will also be extended to clerks, bus drivers and cafeteria employees. 

Some of the 3,500 nonpermanent teachers whose jobs are at risk could be rehired by mid-June, district officials told the Daily News. 

The pending layoffs, which would affect mostly young employees with little seniority, are aimed at closing a $596 million gap in the school district's budget.

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