MI Legislature Approves School Worker Buyout

The Michigan legislature approves a plan aimed at savings schools money by offering public school employees an early retirement incentive this summer.

The bill passed the State House overnight, and the Senate passed it earlier today as well.

The idea is to get older, higher-paid employees to leave to avoid layoffs, creating opportunities for younger workers who need jobs.

Supporters say it could save schools more than $670 million next year and about $3 billion over the next 10 years.

The Michigan Education Association and many Democratic lawmakers oppose the bill.

They include Marquette State Rep Steve Lindberg.

ABC 10 News Now spoke with him earlier this afternoon about why he voted against the bill.

Lindberg says it makes a faulty assumption that at least half the teachers who are offered a buyout will take it.

He believes school employees who plan to retire soon anyway will take the offer but that anyone who’s taking a hit from the economy will likely stay on the job.

Lindberg, a retired teacher himself, says the new plan for future teachers has some unintended consequences.

He says fewer people will go into the field due to the adjusted retirement plan forcing employees to work longer while taking home less pay.