The Janesville School District will lose nearly 600 years of teaching experience June 13.

That’s the day 26 teachers will retire.

The retirements might have been planned for other reasons, but the 2017-18 school year is the last year retirees can receive up to eight years of paid health insurance, said Tina Johnson, assistant director of administrative and human resources for the district.

The 26 retirements represent a big jump compared with the 15 retirements last April, according to school board documents. They will be made official at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

This year’s benefit package allows teachers who are at least 55 years old and who have been with the district for 10 years to receive four years of paid health insurance. In addition, they can use their unused sick days to earn up to an additional four years.

Nonteaching staff get a similar benefit, but they have to be 62 to retire.

Staring next year, all district staff, including nonteachers, will be eligible for retirement benefits at 55 years old if they have been with the district for at least 10 years, Johnson said.

They will receive three years of health insurance, Johnson said.

Any unused sick days will be used to help pay for health insurance. The sick leave will be valued at $147 a day, and retirees can pick what insurance they want. They can use that money to pay the full cost of the district’s health insurance or they can buy health insurance elsewhere.

Starting in 2025, staff will be eligible for two years of paid insurance. They also will be able to convert their unused sick time.

In other business Tuesday, the school board will receive an update on the district’s recently formed early literacy task force.

The task force was created to help the district reach its goal of having 90 percent of third-graders reading at grade level by the end of the year. In order to do that, the district has to devise ways to ramp up early literacy efforts and to keep young children on track during the summer months, Superintendent Steve Pophal has said.

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