Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas School Board sets conditions for retirees who return

LARGO — Six of seven Pinellas School Board members on Tuesday said they are willing to rely on superintendent Julie Janssen's discretion when rehiring employees who want to return to the district after retiring under the Deferred Retirement Option Program.

But only under two conditions: Employees may not return to the schools they came from, and they likely would face a pay cut.

"I would like to offer it to those who want to come back, but perhaps say, 'Here is where we need you to go and this is the salary we can pay,' " said chairwoman Peggy O'Shea.

Board member Carol Cook agreed, noting that in many cases, it would cost more to train a new employee than to keep an experienced teacher or administrator at a reduced salary.

Board member Mary Brown said she would like to offer rehired teachers and administrators spots in struggling schools, while board member Linda Lerner said she would agree to rehiring employees if Janssen could justify bringing them back.

But board member Janet Clark said she was opposed to bringing employees back who retired under the program, which is known as DROP.

"Everyone in this district who wants to move up is being held back by people with extended DROP," Clark said. "We're losing good people to other districts because there's no room for them to move up."

The issue surfaced at a budget workshop in which board members continued to discuss ways to make up for a budget shortfall that district officials fear could exceed $100 million.

The board recently reviewed a proposal from the district's finance team that would recapture about $48 million through cuts that include reducing up to 200 bus routes, closing six elementary schools and freezing or eliminating hiring.

Janssen announced Tuesday that she had found nearly $5 million more savings by re-aligning some positions in the administration building and consolidating some jobs. She plans to begin talks with middle and high school principals to see if similar savings can be found there.

She said salary cuts will be used only as a last resort, but Doug Forth, an assistant superintendent in charge of budgeting, said cuts remain on the table.

"That's the only way we can see to balance the budget unless we get more savings," Forth said.

Pinellas School Board sets conditions for retirees who return 03/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 11:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Girl says her mom asked for forgiveness before stabbing her


    ATLANTA — Everyone was asleep when Isabel Martinez began stabbing her children and then fatally stabbed her husband as he tried seek help, her daughter told a child welfare caseworker.

    In a  July 7 file photo, Isabel Martinez gestures towards news cameras during her first court appearance, in Lawrenceville , Ga. Martinez is charged with killing four of her children and their father. [AP Photo/John Bazemore, File]
  2. McCain says 'I'll be back soon' as he battles brain cancer


    WASHINGTON — Battling brain cancer, Sen. John McCain on Thursday promised to return to work, making a good-natured dig at his Republican and Democratic colleagues who were jolted by news of the six-term lawmaker's diagnosis.

    Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor after a blood clot was removed. [Associated Press]
  3. Fire on neighbor's porch leads to charges against Holiday man


    HOLIDAY — A Holiday man was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he torched the front porch of his neighbor, who he insisted was holding his daughter hostage.

    Dan Fry, 63, of Holiday was arrested Wednesday on a charge of first-degree arson. [Photo courtesy of Pasco Sheriff's Office]
  4. Port Richey man solicited sex from 13-year-old, Pasco authorities say


    PORT RICHEY — A Port Richey man was arrested Wednesday after Pasco County authorities say he solicited sex from a 13-year-old boy on the gay male dating app Grindr.

    Shawn Daly, 43, of Port Richey was charged with solicitation for sexual conduct with a child over a computer. [Photo courtesy of Pasco Sheriff's Office]