Louisiana has lost valuable educators
After laughable education reforms in the state over the past year, hundreds of incredible teachers have left the classroom for the last time.
Louisiana teachers are continuing to retire at higher-than-usual numbers – more than 7,500 in the last two years.
The number of retirements in 2013 increased from the 24 percent increase last year, according to a report in the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Dana Vicknair, assistant director at Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana, reported that the figure is up about 1,000 from what they would normally see.
“These are people walking out the door. … These people are actually gone.”
State Superintendent of Education John White said the exodus should be looked at as primarily a financial decision on the part of more veteran employees.
White said there is not an increase in the number of people leaving the classroom.
“These are the more veteran employees who are leaving in higher numbers,” White said. “This is about retirement policies not just about education policies … not just a classroom decision. People are doing what’s right for them and their families.” White noted the increase in retirements began as administration pension policy changes impacting benefits and retirement age were being debated for state employees.
There are some 50,000 Louisiana public school teachers. TRSL registered 3,871 retirements in the fiscal year ending June 30. Of those, 3,415 worked in kindergarten through 12th grade. Last year, when the 24 percent jump occurred, there were 3,295 public school employees out of 3,724 Teachers’ system retirements – more than 700 more than the prior year.
But if you talk to many local teachers, it wasn’t only about finances. Veteran educators were fed up with state leaders choosing politics over education. The education reforms, pushed by White and Gov. Bobby Jindal and questioned by Louisiana courts, placed unrealistic burdens on good schools, students and educators.
Our teachers did not walk away from education because of money; instead, they abandoned a sinking ship.
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