Bushnell-Prairie City School Superintendent David Messersmith will retire a year earlier than he wanted.
Other educators around the region are facing similar decisions.
He reconsidered his plans once Governor Pat Quinn proposed a number of changes to state pensions plans including reducing benefits for retirees. Messersmith hopes to “lock-in” his benefits under the current pension rules. He thinks the state will suffer a “brain drain” as other educators come to the same conclusion.
He said, “There's a lot of people that are taking similar action. And as it looks right now, it appears that even the retirees are going to take some major cuts.”
Messersmith will retire at the end of next month.
Board members wanted him to stay on the job to ease the transition in leadership. The extra time would also allow for a very thorough search for his successor. He consulted with board members to let them know his reasons for changing his mind.
Messersmith says the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments and capping increases in benefits will be a hardship for many retirees.
Protests over proposed cuts took place throughout the state this week.