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The Paris ISD school board eliminated an administrator position Thursday previously held by the superintendent’s wife.
Ann Trull, director of elementary and gifted education, would have been what is known as a retire-rehire – which has become something of a hot button issue.
“Most people think it prevents in-house staff from moving up,” said George Fisher, president of the Paris Independent School District board of trustees. “But with our current budget status, it has the potential to save us money.”
Fisher thanked Ann Trull for more than four decades of service to Paris ISD.
The board plans to look at the issue in the near future to discuss whether to continue the practice of hiring retirees, he said.
“We don’t have a large number right now, but as people come closer to retirement age, it could be an issue,” Fisher said.
Superintendent Paul Trull said he had nothing to do with the decision.
“I recused myself from the process from day one,” Trull said. “I commend Robert High (assistant superintendent for human resources) and Mark Hudson (deputy superintendent for curriculum & student services) for handling the process. In these hard times, it saved the district one personnel unit by attrition.”
Paris has lost 27 positions due to attrition in the last two years, the superintendent said – 11 last year and 16 this year. Eliminating the director’s position saved the district $79,423, according to High.
“After adopting a deficit budget of $300,000, facing $1.6 million in state funding cuts and mandatory salary increasing of $116,000, we are continually looking for ways to save money and maintain services,” High said in a statement.
PISD’s usual stance is to only hire retired teachers for part-time positions, he said. State rules require a district has to pay a 12.4 percent “surcharge” on full-time retire-rehires for things like Medicare and taxes. That comes to around $10,000 to $12,000 per employee, High said. Which means hiring one full-time doesn’t really save money. But those working less than half-time don’t have that extra cost.
Of eight positions approved Thursday, two were retire-rehires: Nancy Hudson, who will teach dual credit Spanish, and math teacher Steve Coker. Both are part-time positions in fields that can be difficult to fill. Hiring Hudson saved the district about $33,900, while Coker’s employment saved about $25,091, High said.