Hamilton County school board approves early retirement incentives

Board member Steve Highlander, left, listens as board member Karista Jones talks about a state partnership zone for low performing schools during a meeting of the Hamilton County Board of Education on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Hamilton County school board has approved an early retirement incentive for longtime teachers and administrators.

With 150 people projected to take advantage of early retirement, the incentive package is estimated to have a one-time cost of $6.5 million. If more than 150 people were to take the package, that cost will be covered by an extra $1.9 million sent to several school districts by the state following a revised Basic Education Program memo in January.

The savings generated by the retirement incentive are estimated to be about $20,000 per person.

There are three tiers to the one-time incentive package. The first tier gives employees 25 percent of their annual salary if they've worked 25 years or more. The second tier is for employees who have worked 20-24 years, and they would receive 20 percent of their annual salary.