Sat. Feb 4th, 2023

Senior teachers at Novato Unified School District will be able to retire earlier than expected under a buyout plan set up by the district.

At least 12 teachers, the minimum number needed to make the program go, were expected to sign up by the deadline on Friday, said Kris Cosca, the district’s superintendent. The teachers were eligible if they had at least 15 years of service with the district, he said.

“We are pleased that it appears we will meet the target which will allow us to move forward with the incentive,” Cosca said in an email.

Mariah Fisher, president of the Novato Federation of Teachers, said a number of union members were considering the plan.

“Teachers are definitely interested,” she said.

Cosca said the program would avoid having to make substantial personnel cuts.

“We plan on the retirement incentive being cost neutral,” he said.  “We don’t expect that we will save any money in the big picture or that it will cost us any money.”

“Instead, we see this as an opportunity to honor our teachers who have given so much to NUSD and the Novato community over the course of their careers, and to avoid layoffs that would adversely impact our newest teachers,” Cosca said.

Novato is not the first Marin school district to offer early retirement incentives in recent years. The Tamalpais Union High School District set up such a program in 2018. The Larkspur-Corte Madera School District also included some early retirement incentives as part of a cost-cutting program in 2019.

By senior