Recent legislation to benefit districts and retirees

By Jef Rietsma

Vicksburg Community Schools Superintendent Keevin O’Neill hailed new legislation that may benefit Vicksburg and all Michigan’s school districts.

During the district’s Oct. 9 board of education meeting, O’Neill referenced House Bill 4752. At the time, the bill was one day from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s approval. It went into effect immediately.

“Under this proposed new bill, retirees would be able to work for a school district without penalty after six months; the current law is nine,” O’Neill said. “In addition, they could return in a part-time manner and can earn up to $15,100 per calendar year sooner than six months if it is following a bona-fide termination of employment.”

O’Neill called it “good news for retirees.”

In the days after the bill’s Oct. 10 passage, O’Neill had more to say.

“This bill allows experienced educators who still want to help out in various roles – such as teachers, substitute teachers, athletic coaches, umpires and referees – without financial obstacles that have prevented them from helping in the past,” he said. “I’m hoping this bill will increase the number of applicants we have for the variety of positions we need to effectively serve our students, families and community.”

In other news, O’Neill said the district’s Oct. 4 Count Day total was 2,697 students, an increase of about 20 students from the district’s spring count.

He explained that the student enrollment figure established from fall Count Day comprises 90 percent of the district’s foundation allowance. The balance is made up from the spring count, he said.

O’Neill and the board at the meeting recognized the district’s principals. October is “National Principal Month.”

The meeting was held at Sunset Lake Elementary School. Principal Amie McCaw provided a half-hour information-filled, annual update on the district’s largest elementary school.

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