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Most of DISD's Incentive Program Money Already Gone

530 employees volunteer to leave for incentive of up to $10,000

By Kim Fischer
|  Monday, Feb 28, 2011  |  Updated 7:45 PM CDT
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More than 500 teachers have taken <a title=Dallas Independent School District offer to retire early and put up to $10,000 in their pocket." />

Kim Fischer,

More than 500 teachers have taken Dallas Independent School District offer to retire early and put up to $10,000 in their pocket.

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DISD Employees Resign and Retire for Payout

Hundreds of Dallas Independent School District teachers and employees turned in their resignation and retirement forms on Saturday.

Overflow Crowd Argues Against DISD Cuts

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Most of the money Dallas Independent School District set aside for resignation incentives is already gone.

The district has allocated nearly $5 million in resignation and retirement packages since Saturday and has only $2.1 million left.

DISD is offering employees incentives of up to $10,000 to voluntarily leave the district after this school year in an effort to less the number of layoffs it will need to make because of expected state funding cuts.

The state faces a revenue shortfall of at least $15 billion, and the Legislature is expected to slash education funding.

District spokesman Jon Dahlander said DISD is preparing for a worst-case scenario after legislators said they could cut $10 billion in state education funding.

Hundreds of teachers and employees turned in forms Saturday, the first day of the incentive program. By the end of the weekend, 530 employees had volunteered to resign or retire in the program.

"At this point, we've seen a lot of more experienced teachers taking advantage of this offer, but we've also seen some younger teachers step forward, too, but the vast majority are those teachers who have been with us 20 or more years," Dahlander said.

DISD officials say 800 to 850 employees are expected to receive incentives, which pay 15 percent of the employee's base salary up to $10,000.

District leaders say the program is an extra incentive for teachers or other employees who may have been on the fence about retiring. The district also said the incentives will save DISD money because it will not have to pay out unemployment benefits for the employees volunteering to leave.

Employees have until March 8 to sign up. But the incentives are on a first come, first serve basis for as long as the program has money.

The district's human resources department has extended its hours to 6 p.m. every night to process requests.

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