Two more Worthington schools administrators are about to take advantage of a state law that allows them to collect a salary and retirement pay at the same time.

Two more Worthington schools administrators are about to take advantage of a state law that allows them to collect a salary and retirement pay at the same time.

Wayne Harvey, teacher-director of Linworth High School, and Jennifer Wene, director of academic achievement, have both applied for the retire/rehire option that in recent years has been routinely approved by the Worthington Board of Education.

No member of the public spoke at a state-required public hearing during Monday's board meeting. The hearing had been advertised in three newspapers so that anyone who objected could voice their opinions before the board voted on the matter.

The board is set to vote to allow the two to retire and be rehired at its July 28 meeting.

Several years ago, the state legislature passed a law allowing public employees to retire with full benefits and immediately be rehired in the same position. A public hearing must be advertised 30 days in advance.

Not all public entities permit the practice, which some refer to as "double-dipping." The city of Worthington does not permit its employees to retire and be rehired in the same position.

The school board permits retire/rehires because it allows for the retention of valuable employees at a lower salary, said board president David Bressman. Rehired administrators are paid 85 percent or 90 percent of their salaries, depending on whether they accept or defer the payment of their severance.

Harvey's salary is $101,776. He has been with the district for 35 years.

Wene's salary is $120,568. She has been with the district 25 years.

Employees with more than ten years experience collect enhanced severance, which is calculated by multiplying his or her per diem pay by the number of accrued, unused sick days, up to a maximum of 60 days.

District spokesperson Vicki Gnezda said she did not which option Harvey or Wene would choose.

Bressman and board member Marc Schare said they are aware that retire/rehire is not popular with the public in general, some of whom see it as taking advantage of a loop-hole in the system.

Bressman said it allows the district to retain quality employees like Harvey and Wene, both of whom could probably retire and get better-paying jobs in the private sector.

Plus, the district saves money in the process.

Given a chance to pay 100 percent of an administrator's salary and 85-90 percent, he will choose the latter, Schare said.

"If people are going to get upset with double-dipping, they need to get upset with the legislature about retirement provisions for public employees," he said.

Gnezda said she does not know how many times the board has permitted an employee to retire and rehire. The district does not track the number, she said.

The board is also scheduled for public hearings on the retire/rehire requests of two teachers at its July 13 meeting. Chris Luckey, a teacher at Worthington Hills Elementary School, and Robin Blank, a teacher at Liberty, have both applied for the option.