It took nearly two years, but it appears that DCPS is finally prepared to comply with the early retirement provision of the contract it signed with the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU). The 2010 collective bargaining agreement says that teachers with good evaluations and 20 years of service who lose their jobs in the annual “excessing” process are eligible for early retirement with full benefits.

But when eligible teachers tried to exercise the option, they were told that DCPS didn’t have the money. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M Gandhi said that was not true. In any event, WTU announced late last week that it reached an agreement with DCPS that will allocate $10.2 million over the next five years to fund early retirement benefits for excessed teachers.

Earlier this month, DCPS delivered excessing notices to 333 teachers, meaning that their jobs have been eliminated because of enrollment declines, budget reductions or program changes. Officials expect about 60 percent of those impacted to find other jobs in the school system.