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Lawmakers advance bill that would help retired teachers return to work

2 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, April 14 2022 Apr 14, 2022 April 14, 2022 5:33 PM April 14, 2022 in News
Source: WWLTV

BATON ROUGE - Amid a chronic teacher shortage growing in severity, the Louisiana Senate unanimously advanced a bill that would help retired teachers return to classrooms.

Current law suspends retirement benefits for any former teachers that decide to return to the workforce. State Senator Cleo Fields, the sponsor of SB 434, wants to change that.

The new law, if passed by the House, would allow teachers to retain their retirement benefits if they choose to return to work and retired before July 1, 2020.

“When I was in college, the largest department at Southern University was the Department of Education,” Fields told WWLTV, adding that it is now one of the smallest departments.

Some Senators have noted a possible conflict in the wake of this bill and are concerned that retired teachers would be prioritized for job openings over new graduates. 

Senator Barrow Peacock of Bossier City amended Fields' bill, a change which would require schools to contact colleges within a 120-mile radius about a job opening before offering the position to a retired teacher. 

Shortages in higher education have not yet been addressed in legislation, but lawmakers hope to add to future bills to address concerns.

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