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New bill proposed to help teacher crisis
BATON ROUGE- Nearly 3,000 open teaching slots in Louisiana. It is a problem State Representative Rick Edmonds calls "a critical shortage of teachers."
Edmonds wants to rewrite the law to allow retired teachers to come back to the classroom but at a higher pay rate. Currently, retired teachers only get 25 percent of their income if they choose to return. This bill will double that. Edmonds understands that this is not the complete solution.
"It's still not where we would like it to be, but obviously it is double what it is. So that affords some of our retirees maybe to say 'I'll come back for that, it's a little bit more,'" Edmonds said.
The Louisiana Association of Educators says it supports the bill and calls it a step in the right direction. Leaders of the group say this only is a temporary fix to the problem. More needs to be done to solve to root of the problem which is recruiting and retaining educators. Edmonds agrees.
"We got to work with higher education to get more young people interested in being a teacher again and it's a hard task, but it's a must," Edmonds said.
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