TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__Some within the district were surprised when USD 345 Superintendent Mike Mathes decided to retire after winning over voters for the school district's new $57.5 million dollar bond issue, but even more eyebrows were raised upon his re-hiring. His decision to step down and take a new position at a lower salary this coming August while receiving retirement benefits has many left scratching their heads, but in Kansas, its not all that uncommon.
USD 345 Director of Communications, Jeff Zehnder said, "Superintendent Mike Mathes is retiring under, KPERS, the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System. The legislation has put into law that you can collect benefits if you are at the point where you are eligible and after 60 days you can start working. It is a benefit the legislation has said he has earned.
The Seaman district school board also discussed the need to improve school safety procedures and sent over half a dozen staff members to specialized FEMA training on the matter.
Zehnder said, "We don't want to think about someone getting into our schools and what could happen but those are things that are important to talk about and those are the sorts of things that are in this plan. National and man-made disasters and the actions we should take to prepare for them is something we think is important."
USD 345 board members will be voting to adopt the new safety plan July 8th.
Board members also unanimously approved increasing the districts budget by nearly $114 thousand dollars because of an increase in students that will need free lunch and an increase in special education state aid.