Louisiana went from a teacher shortage to a teacher crisis.
A recent state report showed that nearly 50,000 students go without their regular teacher every day, and about 25 percent of teachers in the classroom are uncertified or teach outside of their field. State Representative Rick Edmonds said the crisis is only getting worse.
“We have a critical teacher in the state of Louisiana,” Edmonds said. “We’ve had him for several years, and it looks like he’s not going to stop anytime soon.”
To help plug the hole in the dike, Edmonds wants to create incentives to bring retired educators back to school. He says some rules should be relaxed temporarily in order to provide those incentives, including one that caps what teachers can earn if they return to a position in a public school.
“They can only earn 25%, depending on their retirement,” he said. “So that would increase it to 50%, which would give them a bit more incentive to make a bit more money.”
Edmonds says the measure would only apply to those who retired by December 31, 2021 and would be limited to three years, to see if there is an impact. He also says the measure has strong support from local superintendents, teachers’ unions and the Department of Education.
“After three years, if it doesn’t work or we don’t need it anymore, the bill goes away,” Edmonds said. “It won’t solve the problem, but it will help some people. And I think we all see it that way.