In cost-saving measure, Madera teachers given added incentive to retire

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In a cost-saving move by district officials, those teachers eligible for retirement were given an extra incentive if they retired at the end of the school year. (KFSN)

Madera educators are making bold staffing changes to save money and invest in new teachers.

Doug Adams knew he wanted to retire from teaching within the next few years.

He's a cancer patient, former coach and 31-year veteran of the Madera Unified School District, and he says retiring was on the horizon.

But a "golden handshake" from the district, though, changed his plans.

"It made you feel good that they would do something," Adams said. "And, also, I have friends all the time we say, 'Hey, we're the dinosaurs.'"

In a cost-saving move by district officials, those teachers eligible for retirement were given an extra incentive if they retired at the end of the school year.

"They would receive 60 percent of their ending salary and that is paid out over various years," Kent Albertson with MUSD said. district

Albertson says 46 teachers accepted the offer, saving the district nearly $200,000.

"Any time they get extra money in their pockets that's enticing to them and it's a win-win for everyone," he said. "It's a win for the district where we can save some potential money but it's a great way to reward them for all their hard services they've had throughout the years."

Madera Unified has already hired all 46 positions left vacant by the retirees.

The district says it wanted to hire new teachers because they're beginning to invest in new training for the Common Core curriculum.

"We actually give a stipend to every single teacher to go out and look for training that they think will benefit them, and so we want to make sure that money is being spent in a wise manner," Albertson said.

For Aadams, the earlier-than-expected retirement won't just give him time to focus on his health but also a new baby granddaughter.

"I've got to get up there and see their new home and kind of get bonded with the child," he said.
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