Retired teachers could return to classrooms

By Kelsey Gibbs |

Published 04/10 2014 04:59PM

Updated 04/10 2014 05:18PM

ILLINOIS -- School districts are in desperate need of teachers and retirees are being asked to step back into the classroom. Former teachers could be coming out of retirement. Lawmakers are asking them to help fill teaching vacancies around the state. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs explains.

"There is a subject shortage of teachers."

Wednesday, the Senate approved a proposal allowing retired teachers to fill vacancies. It's a piece of legislation Illinois Retired Teacher's Association Executive Director Jim Bachman says is needed.

"We're very supportive of the bill because, in a lot of rural districts especially, there is a subject shortage of qualified teachers."

Bachman says recently retired teachers already help out in many ways.

"They rely upon having retirees or especially recent retirees to be able to fulfill those positions."

Positions Bachman says are hard to hire for.

"That it might prevent somebody from getting hired, a new teacher or so forth, but it's purely and especially in this bill, the district has to prove that there is a subject shortage of that type of teacher."

The bill would allow retired teachers who are still certified to teach while maintaining their eligibility for retirement.

"The school district has to prove to the State Board of Education that there is a subject shortage."

Schools must have the positions posted for three months prior to the beginning of the school year.

"They still want to be in the classroom, but maybe, not necessarily on a full-time basis. Still want to go back and contribute and this provides the ability to do that."

The bill now heads to the House. Retirees wouldn't be able to get any new pension benefits.

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