New KSBA executive director to begin Oct. 1 to meet KTRS rules on retirement; board of directors endorses change of plans

The leadership change atop KSBA is still on, but will take three more months than originally planned.

Last week, the KSBA Board of Directors unanimously approved a contract revision which would have Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Mike Armstrong assume his new duties effective Oct. 1.

Armstrong had intended to resign his Lawrence County job June 30 and start work at KSBA July 1. However, when regulations of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System (KTRS) were reviewed, it was learned that a retirement, rather than a resignation, will benefit both Armstrong, and as it turns out, the association as well.

Under KTRS rules, should Armstrong resign from his Lawrence County job rather than retire, and immediately begin work at KSBA (a KTRS-participating entity), he would not be permitted to begin receiving his KTRS benefits until his eventual retirement from KSBA. However, by retiring from Lawrence County June 30, and then sitting out the required 90 days (before assuming another KTRS-covered post), he will begin his new career with KSBA Oct. 1 with no loss in pension benefits.

The bonus for KSBA is twofold. First, the association saves the equivalent of the agreed-upon executive director’s salary for the first quarter of FY 2014-15. Second, KTRS rules cap a returning retiree’s pay at 75 percent of the individual’s previous salary. This cap would remain in place, producing ongoing salary savings to KSBA during Armstrong’s employment with the association.

Interim Executive Director David Baird and the board have agreed to extend his service in that role through Sept. 30. Ironically, the situation for Armstrong and KSBA is similar to Baird’s situation when he retired as Eminence Independent Schools superintendent before coming to KSBA nine years ago. Baird retired, sat out the 90 days, and took the position as associate executive director.

The KSBA board will ratify the revised contract language during its quarterly meeting June 21 in Frankfort.

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