Louisiana Teacher Shortage: Is There a Good Answer to the Issue?
By now, I'm sure you've heard about Louisiana's teacher shortage. Across the state, there are more than 2,500 open positions that absolutely need to be filled. Without qualified educators in those jobs, we're looking at reshuffling roughly 50,000 students into already full classrooms. That "solution" would negatively affect grades, standardized test scores, and most importantly - how much your kids learn.
So far, several attempts have been made at the legislative level to alleviate this issue. None have produced a viable solution, but Shreveport native and Baton Rouge Representative Rick Edmonds thinks his plan will do the trick.
According to a report from the ArkLaTex Homepage, Edmonds proposal would tap the large pool of retired teachers in the Sportsman's Paradise to fill the gap. House Bill 22 would "activate" former teachers for re-employment by Louisiana schools desperate for the help.
The benefit for schools is obvious: Certified and experienced teachers could probably step right in to the position. The benefit for the retired teachers is actually pretty good: Right now, they get 25% of their best 3 years as their pension - those that jump back into the classroom would see that amount raised to 50% under the proposal.
Rep. Edmonds was quick to say that this is not a long-term solution, but rather a stop-gap solutions to fill these crucial positions quickly. The proposal has reportedly been sent to committee for debate over the next few weeks.