|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
TISD offers incentives for resignations
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Faced with the possibility of a $570,000 cut in state funds next year, the Trinity School Board approved a plan Monday night to offer incentives for early staff resignations. Under the plan, full-time administrators and teachers who resign by Feb. 18 will be paid $500. Full-time para-professionals and auxiliary personnel who step down by that date will receive $250. Superintendent David Plymale explained the plan is designed to give the Trinity Independent School District’s financial planners advanced notice of who will be leaving. “We are not talking about people resigning and leaving now. We want them to stay until the end of the school year,” he said. “But, if we know early that they are not planning to come back for another year, we can get an earlier start as we address the coming budget crisis.” The cut in state funds is part of a $20 billion budget shortfall that is now facing the Texas Legislature for the coming biennium. While the budget now being reviewed by the Texas House could lead to a $570,000 cut in TISD funds Plymale said the Texas Senate plan issued Monday does not cut quite so deep. Until a final version of the budget is approved in Austin, officials at local school districts will not know how much money they will lose. However, plans are being made to reduce school staffing across the state. “Just this morning, I read that the Austin school district is reducing its staff by 435 people,” Plymale said Tuesday. While Trinity officials have set no target number for reductions, all of them agree that some cuts will be needed to offset the drop in state funding. During previous meetings of the Trinity School Board, Plymale has outlined a flexible hiring freeze, explaining that teachers who retire or resign may not be replaced if their duties can be reassigned to other staff members. The superintendent also noted that he is currently in the process of reviewing all of the district’s contracted services. “We want to see if can opt out of some of these contracts with outside people and assign those duties to current staff members,” he said. Under the incentive plan approved Monday night, the incentives will be offered only during the current school year and all school employees will be eligible. Written notice of resignation must be given to Plymale prior to Feb. 18 and the incentive will be paid on the regular pay date of Feb. 28. Those who are rehired by the district within one year will be required to repay the incentive. Non full-time employees also are eligible for the early resignation incentive, but the amount to be paid will be pro-rated based on their employment classification and the number of days per week they work. Election called During the meeting, the board formally called a school trustee election for Saturday, May 14. The board members whose three-year terms are expiring this year are Dorothy Franklin and L.C. Courtney. Under the timeline given to board members by Plymale, the first day to file for a place on the ballot will be Feb. 14 and filing will close on March 14. Early voting will begin on May 2. Other business In other business, the board also: • Extended Plymale’s contract by one year. His new contract now runs through June 30, 2014. • Accepted the resignation of Terry Marino, the district’s director of special edition. • Received an update from Plymale regarding education-related legislation now pending before the Texas Legislature in Austin. Bills range from a plan to create countywide school districts to revising grading policies. • Received quarterly reports on campus improvement efforts, parental involvement activities, student discipline and counseling services. • Received recognition from students and staff members as part of School Board Appreciation Month. A group of pre-kindergarten students sang, other elementary students presented board members with candy, the intermediate school presented a booklet of children’s thoughts about the school board and a PowerPoint presentation, the middle school presented personal notes from students and a thank you banner and the high school presented gift bags.