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I have heard on National Public Radio that teachers are being offered a $40,000 incentive in some places to retire early. Is there an early retirement incentive for Lawrence teachers? If so, how many took up the offer after last school year?

Yes, the contract negotiated between the school district and Lawrence Teachers’ Association contains an early retirement incentive, said David Cunningham, the district’s director of legal services, human resources and policy. To be eligible teachers must have served 15 years in the district and 20 years under the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. There is a formula to figure out each teacher’s incentive. For example, a 20-year Lawrence teaching veteran whose maximum salary was $51,455 would receive $6,174 annually for up to five years. In addition, the district would provide health insurance benefits for up to seven years. Cunningham said during 2009-10, a total of 29 Lawrence teachers took early retirement.

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