After reading a disheartening letter to the editor regarding decisions made by the Old Fort Board of Education, we thought it was only fair to the voters of Old Fort to hear a factual explanation of the resolution that was passed at the June board meeting.
As a fringe benefit of being the district's superintendent, Old Fort Schools always have "picked up" and paid the employee's required portion of their retirement. This practice has been happening for at least the past five superintendents. This is a new practice for our high school principal, but the board felt this was a necessary addition in order to be competitive in regards to principal salaries in the area.
Until July 1, the rate of this retirement was equal to 10 percent of the employee's total salary. For example, an employee making $50,000 per year would be required to pay $5,000 toward her retirement. The district is required by law to pay 14 percent, which would equate to $7,000 in the example above.
Effective July 1, State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio increased the employee share of retirement benefits from 10 percent to 11 percent. Therefore, in order for Old Fort to maintain contractual obligations to the superintendent and high school principal, the board of education passed a resolution during the June board meeting that approved the payment of the additional 1 percent.
Neither received an increase in current wages. The cost to the district for this additional 1 percent of retirement benefits equals $1,520. This is a small price to pay to maintain solid administrators, especially when administrators took a voluntary pay freeze in 2010.
District administration is working hard to cut costs. Sharing services with Bettsville is just one of several ways the district is saving money. We encourage any person who has questions or concerns with the district finances or any aspect of the school district to contact our administration directly. They have an open-door policy and would be happy to address any questions and/or concerns, and would further encourage any additional input to better the district.
We are proud to be a part of a district rated "excellent" by the Ohio Department of Education seven years strong and hope you are, too.
The Old Fort Board of Education