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House passes enticement to draw some teachers back to class

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The House has passed legislation aimed at drawing some retired teachers back to the classroom by increasing the money they can earn without reducing their retirement benefits.

Under current rules, former teachers can return to the classroom and earn 25% of their “final average compensation” without reducing their retirement benefits. The Louisiana Teachers Retirement System site says final average compensation is based on the highest salary earned during a set number of consecutive years of teaching — three consecutive years for teachers hired before 2001.

The bill approved 96-0 on Monday would push up that limit to 50% of their final average compensation. The Advocate reports that the bill applies to those certified to teach math, science, English language arts, and to any teacher’s aide. If approved by the Senate, the plan would be in effect for three years.

Officials said that, under the plan, former teachers might work half a school year or select hours to maximize their impact while still being paid.

The bill would apply to those who retired before Dec. 31, 2021.

“We have a critical teacher shortage that has arrived at our doorstep,” said Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge and sponsor of the legislation.

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