Incentive Causing More MNPS Employees To Retire

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Incentive Causing More MNPS Employees To Retire

CREATED Jun 10, 2014
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - More of Metro's most experienced teachers are leaving the classroom. The district is offering cash to make the decision even easier.

Linda Wyatt started teaching in 1973. Most of her career was spent teaching third grade at Glencliff Elementary School.

“It's seeing the light bulb come on and that they finally understand. Or they say, ‘oh I understand that Ms. Wyatt. I really understand it now,’” she explained. “That's what kept me going back.”

This fall, while the passion for teaching was still there Wyatt said she had a different feeling.

“I just had that feeling that maybe it's time for me to retire.”

She's not alone. In all 316 Metro school employees are retiring. More than twice as many as the 2009-2010 school year. A vast majority are teachers.

“There's a lot more pressure placed on teachers here then there are elsewhere,” Metropolitan Nashville Educators Association Vice President Erick Huth said.

In all, Metro is losing more than 500 teachers, most are retiring the rest are quitting. It's about ten percent of the districts teaching population.

“We expected the retirements to be up this year because of the incentive,” Metro Schools spokesperson Joseph Bass explained.

Teachers with more than 30 years of service were offered $700 for every year, or at least $21,000 lump sum payment as an incentive to retire. It’s estimated to save $3.5 million annually.

“I think it hit (me) at the retirement reception,” Wyatt said tearfully.

The incentive was confirmation that her time had come. Leaving still makes Ms. Wyatt emotional. After 41 years Wyatt says she’ll miss going to the Glencliff neighborhood and teaching math and science. But one thing she won’t miss are the “ridged” lesson plans.

Metro Schools expects to hire 600 teachers this summer. Since January it’s received 8,300 applications.

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