GREENCASTLE -- A deal struck between the Greencastle Community School Corp. Board of School Trustees and the Greencastle Classroom Teacher Association means any budget cutting measures in the district will not include teacher layoffs at the end of the school year.
On Thursday, the GCTA accepted a memorandum of understanding outlining changes in their health insurance benefits. The MOU was signed Friday morning, and the school board approved it Friday afternoon.
"With approval of this MOU, the board affirms that there will be no Reduction in Force (RIF) of any full-time teaching staff at the close of the 2009-2010 school year," the document reads.
Although the teacher's association had to approve the MOU independently, Superintendent Bob Green noted that benefit changes -- which significantly increased health insurance deductibles -- would affect every employee in the district.
The increased deductibles will become effective on May 1. In addition, the corporation has discontinued offering vision and dental insurance for employees, and instead will contribute money each month to employee health savings accounts.
The changes will save the corporation about $147,000 annually, Green said. This year, the savings will be about $97,000.
Corporation officials have been trying to trim $471,000 from the corporation's budget since finding out on Dec. 31 that the district's 2010 tuition support funding allocation from the state would be less than expected. Several measures to reduce costs have been approved, including reducing the work hours of instructional aides in the district and closing the corporation's administration building.
Officials were concerned that in order to make up the deficit, a Reduction in Force (RIF) would be necessary.
The savings from the MOU are a huge step forward.
"This takes us very, very close," Green said.
The district has also offered early retirement incentives. Green said two staff members have submitted retirement letters, and a third is considering doing so. One or two of those positions would likely be absorbed, Green said.