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Retired teachers in La. could return to work for double pay thanks to new bill

(WRDW)
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana lawmakers are trying a different approach to address the nationwide teacher shortage.

“We just cannot have as many unfilled classrooms as we do right now. It’s an urgent need in the state of Louisiana,” said Rep. Rick Edmonds.

There is a new bill in motion that would allow select educators to come out of retirement for double the current rate while retaining their full benefits. This means teachers can return to the classroom and earn 50% of their final average compensation.

The bill was passed unanimously by the House and will now move to Senate.

“They have an incentive to come back, they have the experience that we need in the classroom, and we certainly support that and think that will help our students in many ways,” Rep. C. Denise Marcelle said.

“I think the greatest fear is that if literally our principals and superintendents are hand-tied and don’t have a way to fill those classrooms. We just can’t let that happen,” Edmonds said.

Lamon Dubose, Jr. is a retired teacher who taught for 34 years. He said he would return in a heartbeat, but he feels there are bigger issues leaders must address.

He said a lot of the problems that forced teachers into retirement need to get fixed first, including low pay, excessive paperwork, and “unkept promises”.

“Basically, it’s a Band-Aid, but it’s not solving the problem,” Dubose said. “Once you fix those problems, not only will you have teachers coming back, but I think more teachers will stay longer.”

Dubose said if any of that improves you might see him in a classroom this fall.

“The one thing that I missed. The one thing that I miss the most are the students. The main reason why most teachers are there are for their students,” Dubose said.

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