Teacher Retirements Are Up and Down?
Throughout the nation states, counties and school districts are struggling with the double edged sword of having to cut school funding without losing the best teachers. While retirement motive programs that encourage senior educators to opt for early retirement, the financial benefits in salary savings virtually disappear within five years for new hires. That method the fiscal problems associated with funding education are not really solved by encouraging early teacher retirement.
The Department of Education for Hawaii recently announced that it expect to hire half as many teachers to fill vacancies this year compared to normal. The reason for the without of new teachers is that current teachers are not retiring in the numbers seen in the past.
The state of Michigan offered early retirement incentives this past spring in the hopes of attracting 29,000 teachers into retirement. The tally when the deadline for application passed was about half that number. Clearly, teachers are choosing to stay in the classroom instead of accept early retirement incentives.
The trend of declining retirements among baby boomer teachers is probably traceable to the collapse of their retirement accounts in the last two years. Add to this revenue shortfall for their personal finances, many of these teachers may have second homes whose value has fallen dramatically. Finally, the cost of health care is a much more pressing consideration for the baby boomer at this point in their careers. Putting it all together, teachers are seeing the prospect of retirement as less possible given their personal fiscal position and uncertainty with the economy. At a recent meeting with a financial advisor the need for good financial planning was made clear. Teachers need to know what income per month they will be receiving upon retirement and what expenses will be occurring into retirement.
at the minimum one state is seeing the opposite occurring. In New Jersey the retirement applications are on a trend to double this year. With Governor Christie squeezing state spending in order to balance the budget, teacher pensions are expected to come under scrutiny. This seems to have convinced more than a few teachers to jump ship before the state can cut their promised retirement pensions.
Whether teacher retirement is increasing or decreasing in a state or vicinity, locaiongs will open up for new teachers entering the field. They will come out of schools of education with fresh ideas and grand visions. They cannot replace the wisdom of a veteran retiring teacher, but we all had to start somewhere, so why not we see what they can do?