JANESVILLE

The Janesville School Board will review benefits and promises at its Tuesday meeting.

The promises involve student academics and parent satisfaction.

The benefits involve how much teachers will be paid for collected sick leave after retiring.

Promises

Earlier this year, the school board approved a set of five-year “promises” or goals. They included:

  • Ninety percent of third-graders will read at the third grade level or above. Currently, about 58 percent of students meet this goal, and Superintendent Steve Pophal wants to see that percentage increase by 10 points this year.
  • Ninety percent of ninth-graders will successfully complete algebra 1. About 76 percent of students now meet this goal. Pophal wants to see the number increase 3 percent this year. “Successfully completing” means a C or better grade in algebra 1 and its accompanying courses, integrated math 1 and 2.
  • Ninety percent of graduates will complete “college-ready indicators” that include a GPA of 2.8 or higher and one or more of the following: a score of three or better on an AP exam, a C or better in an AP course, a C or better in a dual-credit English or math course, or a C or better in math III. Pophal wants to see the the percentage of graduates meeting the goal increase from 62 percent to 68 percent.

There are 23 promises in all. Others include goals for parent satisfaction, safety, and teacher pay, retention and benefits.

Benefits

Earlier this year, board member Steve Huth asked the district to determine the costs of increasing some of the retirement benefits for teachers.

Current teachers who are eligible to retire can transform their accumulated sick days into $147 a day for health insurance coverage or put them into a tax-sheltered account. The way the sick days can be used depends on when they were collected. For example, sick leave collected before July 15, 2015 only can be used for health insurance. Sick leave accumulated after that date can be used for insurance coverage or a tax-sheltered account.

Huth asked the district to determine how much it would cost the district to raise the amount given for insurance coverage to $180 a day. District Chief Financial Officer Keith Pennington said it would cost an estimated $2.91 million from the 2019-20 school year to the 2045-46 school year.

Huth also wanted to know what the cost of benefits would be if the retirement age for classified staff such as clerk, custodians and food service workers was reduced from 62 years old to 55 years old. Pennington said it would cost at least $90,000 a year up front. The district would then acquire the ongoing cost of paying those benefits.

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