With the end of the school year just around the corner and the conclusion of the fiscal year soon after, many school districts are searching for ways to tighten their belts. Rehiring retirees, while often controversial locally, is one option that a district might consider. School boards can renegotiate contracts in order to gain more control over costs, all while retaining experienced personnel. If a board of education decides to pursue a strategy of rehiring retirees, it must follow certain guidelines in order to comply with Ohio law.

Ohio Revised Code sections 3307.353 and 3309.345 mandate that any time a public school district seeks to re-employ a system retiree in the same position that the retiree held prior to retirement, the district must meet two requirements. First, the district must give public notice 60 days before the re-employment begins that the person is or will be retired and is seeking re-employment with the district. The notice must include the retiree's name and the time, date, and location of the public meeting that is to be held to discuss rehiring the retiree. Second, the district must hold a public meeting between 15 and 30 days before the re-employment begins to discuss rehiring the retiree.

Opening the retire-rehire decision up for public discussion can give the community a voice, but the law also elicits more questions and concerns for school districts. The OSBA Legal Division has created a fact sheet outlining the procedural requirements set forth in the law, which is available online at www.ohioschoolboards.org/rehiring-retirees. Board members should contact the OSBA Legal Division for additional information or their board counsel for specific questions.

Posted by Rob Johnson on 4/3/2012