Visalia Hiring Teachers at Job Fair

March 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A South Valley school district is encouraging its teachers to retire in order to save money. Jane Bodine wasn't planning on retiring this year but Visalia Unified School District's offer to pay her 60% of her salary if she retired early was enough of a reason for her to do it. Bodine said "I wouldn't have retired I they didn't give me this incentive but once I thought about retiring I was so ready to do it."

Near-retirement teachers at all Visalia Unified schools were offered the early retirement incentive in order to help save the school district money. 71 teachers accepted the offer.

Fernie Marroquin, head of Human Resources at Visalia Unified, said "That's about double of what we normally see each year as far as retirement is concerned."

Having twice the number of retirees not only means more job openings but it frees up cash in the district's budget.

Bodine said "I'm not just old, I'm expensive. I'm probably costing the district $77,000 if I work full time and they can get somebody with a lot more energy at 40-some thousand." The move also means some of the district's more experienced teachers will be replaced with educators with les time in the classroom.

Fernie Marroquin said "We have candidates or retirees that are on the high end of the salary schedule and if we replace them with a beginning teacher that's on the lower end of the scale then we see some cost savings in there."

Marroquin said the district now has 51 job openings and that number is expected to grow over the next few months. The district already hired 12 teachers at a recruitment fair on Saturday, and they're looking for more. Marroquin said "Most of the folks that we hired on Saturday were math, science, special education and actually English, as well. Those are the hard-to-fill areas."

Bodine is still figuring out what to do with her unexpected time off. She has a few ideas. Bodine said "I'm going to go to Yosemite in the middle of the week on off-season!"

Visalia Unified will be at two teacher recruitment fairs to find more teachers. The first is Thursday, March 26th at Fresno Pacific University. The second is Thursday, April 2nd at Fresno State. Both events start at 8:30am.

Visalia Unified will be actively looking to recruit teachers to fill 51+ vacant positions at two upcoming Teacher Recruitment Fairs.

For more information call:
Visalia Unified School District Human Resources Department at (559) 730-7317

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