By James Brown • Mar 29, 2019 

Rochester’s Board of Education unanimously approved a plan to buy out some of its most experienced teachers Thursday night.

The plan was proposed by the City School District’s teachers union last month. The district announced a plan to slash over 300 positions last week; nearly two-thirds of those jobs are held by teachers.

Adam Urbanski, the president of the Rochester Teachers Association, said early retirements could save jobs.

“We are making it possible to avert all teacher layoffs or substantially minimize them,” said Urbanski. “I’m speculating that we will have between 150 and 200 teachers who will take the retirement incentive.”

Urbanski said the district could take the opportunity to replace the retiring teachers with teachers of color.

Interim Superintendent Dan Lowengard said several factors will determine how the district goes forward.

“Some we wouldn’t replace and others we would, and it would depend on where our budget ends up when it’s finally adopted,” said Lowengard. “And where the teacher openings are based on certifications. If we have a lot of English teachers retire, but we need math teachers, then it doesn’t match up. In most cases, we should get enough retirements that we won’t have to lay people off.”

District spokesperson Carlos Garcia said more than 120 teachers have agreed to retire so far. The deadline for teachers to accept the retirement incentive is April 15.

“This is a good start to end the structural deficit that we’ve been in,” said Lowengard.

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