Early separation incentives are being offered to classified and licensed staff who qualify in the Mid-Prairie School District.

Superintendent Mark Schneider says the school board doesn’t normally offer the incentives in back-to-back years, but they felt the move was necessary in light of extra expenses for the district associated with COVID-19. He says early separation is a double-edged sword, “Obviously you have veteran people that have been with you for a while and do a great job, they serve our students well. So, on one hand you like to keep good people, but on the other hand, realistically, there is a financial benefit for the district to do that (because) an early retirement incentive can be paid out of the management fund which frees up funds from the general fund.”

Schneider says five teachers took advantage of early retirement last year and six to 10 teachers qualify this year, but while a teacher may qualify, they don’t have to accept early separation. He says each individual teacher must decide what’s best for their own situation.