With an expected tightening of state financing for education, the Robstown Independent School District is considering options for reducing future spending.

In a meeting March 1, the RISD Board of Trustees discussed a number of options presented by district administration.

One of the items considered was a plan to pay bonus incentives to district non-professional and professional staff who are eligible for retirement to retire.

A committee of principals and teacher union representatives proposed incentive payments of $1,500 for non-professional staff and $3,000 for professional, but trustees indicated last week they would be open to higher payments if it would encourage more retirement-age employees to leave the district.

An additional plan proposed by district administrators would reduce the amount the district contributes per employee for health insurance from $356 to $225. That plan would save the district an estimated $700,000 per year, finance director Jodi Schroedter told the board.

The board took no action on either of the items, pending an expected report on staffing needs and salaries that is expected to be presented by the Texas Association of School Boards later this month.

In other business March 1, the board voted 5-1 to approve Texas Descon as the construction contractor for the new elementary school.

The contract executed by the school board last week is for $11,597,656, and construction could begin as early as this week, officials said.

Board members Adolfo Lopez, Eva Orona, Richard Gonzalez, Osvaldo Romero and Ernesto Gallegos voted in favor of the item. Board member Robert Tapia voted against hiring the contractor. Board member Pablo Avila was not present at the March 1 meeting.