4057 Voluntary Separation Incentive Program

4057 Voluntary Separation Incentive Program

A. Purpose. The Board of Education (Board) wants to create an environment that encourages teachers and administrators to freely give their all to their education careers. Therefore, the Board has established the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (Program) to provide benefits for eligible teachers and administrators who are considering resigning from employment. The objectives of the plan are to help the district satisfy its organizational needs and maintain the viability of the district.

B. Term of the Program. The Policy is effective for eligible staff members electing to separate from the District upon fulfillment of the staff member’s, 2014-2015 or 2015-2016 contract. This policy shall sunset effective September 1, 2016.

C. Definitions:

Attained age is the age of the applicant as of the applicant’s very last birthday.

Creditable service is defined as employment with the School District as a certificated employee in a capacity requiring certification. Board-approved leave for military service, a sabbatical, a leave of absence, or any leave required to be granted according to law, shall not be included as credited years of service. Credit for less than full-time employment shall count toward a year’s credit of service in the same percentage as the percentage of employment. For example, employment on a half-time basis shall count as one-half year’s credit toward the years of service required to qualify for the program.

D. Eligibility. To be eligible to participate in the Program, an applicant must meet the requirements set forth below.

1. Applicant must be a teacher or administrator who has a current teaching or administrative certificate by the Nebraska Department of Education, and is employed full-time by the District in a capacity that requires such certification.

  1. To qualify for separation the applicant must have at least twenty (20) consecutive years of creditable service within Lexington Public Schools.

  2. Applicant must have a minimum attained age of 55 as of September 1st of the calendar year of application [see paragraph E(3)].

  3. An applicant who has received written notice of possible contract termination or cancellation shall not be eligible to participate in this Program unless (1) the notice of termination or cancellation is withdrawn by the administration or (2) after a hearing before the Board, the Board determines that said employee's employment should not be canceled or terminated.

  4. Certificated employees receiving long-term disability benefits are not eligible to participate in this program.

  5. Employees who previously resigned from employment with Lexington Public Schools under any separation incentive program are not eligible to participate in this program.

E. Criteria for Selection. The total number of eligible applicants who may participate in the Program for the 2014-2015 fiscal year shall not exceed ten (10) eligible applicants. The total number of eligible applicants who may participate in the Program for the 2015-2016 fiscal year shall not exceed five (5) eligible applicants. In the event that more than ten (10) eligible employees in 2014-2015 or five (5) eligible employees in 2015- 2016 apply to voluntarily participate in the Program, the selection of the eligible applicant(s) allowed to participate in the Program shall be based upon the following criteria in descending order of priority:

  1. Years of Service: The applicants with the greatest number of years of service at Lexington Public Schools will be given preference for participation in the Program.

  2. Placement on the Salary Schedule: If two or more applicants have equal number of years of service to Lexington Public Schools, applicant(s) placed on the salary schedule with the highest level of education and experience will be given preference for participation in the Program.

3. Date of Application: If two or more applicants tie on criteria “1” and “2,” the applicant(s) with the date of application first in time will be given preference for participation in the Program. Applications will be date stamped by the Superintendent’s office. The first date applications will be received for the school year will be on January 1st of the school year.

F. Enrollment Requirements.

  1. Resignation: Eligible applicants in the Program shall resign their positions with the District effective at the close of the applicant’s last school year of employment.

  2. Notice of Plan and Future Employment: The Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee shall notify all eligible employees of the District of the adoption of this Program and the Application and Agreement on or before December 1st of each school year. A copy of said Application and Agreement as it now exists, or as it may from time to time be amended, may be obtained from the Superintendent’s office.

  3. Applicant and Agreement: Each qualified employee who wishes to participate must submit an Application and Agreement form properly executed on or before February 1st of the last school year of employment. An Application and Agreement may be withdrawn by the employee at any time within seven (7) days following the date when it was received by the Superintendent’s office. The Superintendent, or designee, shall review the employee’s record to determine eligibility. FAILURE TO SUBMIT THE APPLICATION AND AGREEMENT WITHIN THE TIMEFRAME SPECIFED THEREIN SHALL RESULT IN THE REJECTION OF SUCH APPLICATION OR AGREEMENT. That Application and Agreement shall inform the employee that the Program is voluntary in nature and provides each employee at least fifteen (15) days to consider the ramifications of participating in it before making a decision.

  4. The Board reserves the right to waive the application date, but is under no obligation to do so, and Board action to waive the application date in one instance will not bind the Board in any way regarding other applications.

  5. The Board will notify the applicant on or before March 15th, of the year of application of its action on his or her application.

G. Benefits; Calculations of Benefits to Participants Who Qualify

  1. An approved participant with twenty (20) consecutive years of creditable service at Lexington Public Schools shall receive a benefit in an amount equal to the cost of ten (10) annual single health insurance premiums from the District’s insurance carrier as of the participant’s last year of employment.

  2. Payment: The sums to be paid pursuant to paragraph G.1. above shall be payable in four (4) equal installments, the first to be paid on or before the first September 25th immediately following the participant’s last day of employment, and subsequent payments to be made on or before each September 25th until the benefit is paid in full.

  3. Payments Made to Mid America Retirement Solutions: Lexington Public Schools, with Mid America Retirement Solutions acting as the plan administrator, AUL acting as the insurer, will deposit the benefits provided above, as scheduled, into a Heath Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) and/or Non-Elective 403(b) account as determined by the Board. Participant withdrawals from these accounts are entirely at the participant’s discretion.

  4. Source of Funds: The District shall pay the entire cost of the Program.

  5. Administration: This Program shall be administered by the Board of Education by and through the administration of the School District.

  6. Beneficiary Designation: In order for the application to be considered complete, a beneficiary must be designated. Upon death of the participant before all benefits are paid, the beneficiary shall receive benefits pursuant to the terms of this Program.

  7. COBRA Rights: Pursuant to COBRA, a separated employee will have the opportunity to continue participation in the District’s group health insurance plan for at least (18) months following separation upon payment by the separated employee of the insurance premiums.

Adopted: April 13, 2012
Amended: December 10, 2012
Amended: October 14, 2013
Amended: November 10, 2014