Editorials: Teacher Exodus

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - This week the Governor's office said there isn't a need for a special session of the Legislature to address the looming retirement of thousands of teachers.  The RSA predicts 1,800 to 2,000 teachers will retire on December 1st to avoid higher health insurance costs.

The Governor's office went on to say there is a solution to this.  Indeed there are solutions but no guarantees.  Under the state's retirement rules, teachers can go ahead with plans to retire on December 1st and become substitute teachers for the month of December or they can suspend their retirement and return to their classrooms on January 1st on temporary teaching contracts through the end of the school year.

Here's the issue – what's the plan IF those that have already raised their hand to retire don't like either of these options? What is our back up plan?  Since we will not be convening a special session to come up with alternatives we need to know what we are going to do if – worst case scenario – none of the teachers respond to these options.  That could mean 1,800 plus classrooms short a teacher before the Christmas break and local school officials scrambling for qualified substitutes.

We need to put this issue back on top of the pile and get MORE proactive solutions in place to guard against the unknown and serve the needs of our school children.

We appreciate and encourage your feedback.

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