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The Springville-Griffith School Board unanimously approved a resignation incentive Tuesday with the intent of trimming expenses and avoiding staff layoffs.

Superintendent Paul Connelly said the perk is different from a retirement incentive because it is open to all employees with no required length of service. Though the district offered a similar program last year, it is a better deal than in the past.

The incentive will offer employees $250 for each unused sick day accrued. Teachers normally earn $85 for those days. Other employees under different bargaining agreements earn less.

Last year, the district offered a maximum of $170 for each unused sick day, but that figure was dependent upon how many employees took the incentive. The more that signed up, the more the days were worth. Only three employees took advantage of that offer.

“We had to bump it up. If we didn’t do this, we might have to lay off a lot of staff,” Connelly said.

Business Administrator Ted Welch said the district could save as much as $2.7 million if 20 people accepted the incentive this year, although he admitted that level of participation is not likely.  

Regardless of participation, he said, the move should generate savings for the district. Though there were no staffing cuts in 2013, the district trimmed about 45 employees the previous year.

Under current estimates, Welch anticipates the district will have to fill an $857,000 budget gap for 2014-15. That shortfall deepens to $2 million and then $4 million the following years.

Connelly said the district would not renew this offer in 2015.

In other matters, the superintendent told the board that plans are underway to beef up training for chaperones so they can deal with parental behavior when it becomes “over the top” on school property.

An alleged shouting incident at a football game last fall, as well as behavior at some basketball games this season, has prompted the change, the superintendent said.