(1) Except as limited by subsection (2) of section 79-854, all certificated employees from a district involved in a unification or reorganization who, within fifteen calendar days after receiving notification of the availability of Staff Development Assistance pursuant to section 79-854, terminate employment voluntarily, contract to waive any reduction-in-force rights pursuant to sections 79-846 to 79-849, and sign a Staff Development Assistance agreement, shall receive one year of Staff Development Assistance. Staff Development Assistance shall be available to employees only prior to allocation of staff pursuant to section 79-857.
(2) Staff Development Assistance shall not be included in the determination of final average compensation pursuant to the School Employees Retirement Act.
(3) The Staff Development Assistance agreement shall specify that:
(a) A stipend equal to fifty percent of annual salary shall be contingent upon enrollment and attendance at a Nebraska state college or the University of Nebraska; or a stipend equal to twenty-five percent of annual salary shall be provided if not enrolled nor in attendance at a Nebraska state college or the University of Nebraska;
(b) The stipend will cease upon attainment of employment of twenty or more hours per week;
(c) The stipend will be paid in the same manner as contract payments for the most recent contract year;
(d) Tuition for two semesters, if applicable, will be paid directly to the Nebraska state college or the University of Nebraska and shall equal resident tuition charges plus fees of such school and will not include costs of books or other instructional materials; and
(e) All reduction-in-force rights pursuant to sections 79-846 to 79-849 are waived by signing the agreement.
(4) Costs of Staff Development Assistance, prior to the allocation of staff, shall be allocated among the reorganized districts or participating districts in a unification based upon the proportion of valuation each reorganized district receives or each participating district contains. Such costs shall not be included in general fund operating expenditures as defined in section 79-1003 for that fiscal year. Costs associated with agreements beyond the scope of Staff Development Assistance shall be the sole responsibility of the reorganized district involved in the agreement.
(5) Payments made to employees pursuant to Staff Development Assistance shall be made by the unified system or according to the reorganization plan and, if not specified in the plan, by the reorganized district receiving the largest valuation.