Granholm to sign school retirement bill

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm is expected to sign legislation this week that would encourage thousands of veteran school employees to retire. The plan would also force those who remain to pay more for their retirement and health benefits.

The plan would save schools an estimated $700 million as they face potentially big cuts in state funding. But the actual savings will depend on how many teachers and other school employees decide to retire.

The plan relies on almost 30,000 Michigan school employees opting in, and they will have to decide quickly. Fewer retirements would mean less savings, and districts with younger workforces won't save as much as those with lots of eligible teachers.

That means some school districts may not save enough to offset cuts in state aid. Governor Granholm has said she will veto a school aid budget that reduces funding, but so far the Legislature has been cool to her ideas to raise more revenue for K-12 education.