Felzkowski and Stroebel say the bill would make it easier for retired teachers to fill workforce shortages in local school districts in order to meet the needs of students. Since 2009-10, the number of Wisconsin teachers has declined by 1,338, or 2.2%, while the number of public school students over the same time frame decreased by 2,269 , or 0.5%, according to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
“While I think the teacher shortage has pushed our districts toward really creative solutions, we are reaching a tipping point where even these innovations will not be able to shield a district from feeling the effects of these shortages down the road,” Felzkowski said. “One of the best resources to address this issue is at our fingertips — retired educators.”
But the bill comes with a catch that its authors argue would account for the change and ensure the continued integrity of the Wisconsin Retirement System: Raising the minimum retirement age at which a participant may begin collecting benefits from 55 to 59½. The change would only affect employees under the age of 40 at the time the bill becomes law, and would also exclude protective service occupations, such as police officers and firefighters.
“Beware of legacy practices (most of what we do every day is the maintenance of the status quo), @12:40 minutes into the talk – the very public institutions intended for student learning has become focused instead on adult employment. I say that as an employee.