The Associated Press reported that stateside twice as many public school teachers decided to retire in the first half of this year as in each of the past two full years.
Of course, the retirements took place before the new law limiting collective bargaining rights goes into effect.
Back in April the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that more than 200 Milwaukee Public School teachers filed paperwork to retire, double the number from the previous year.
This is a serious problem. People who relish bashing teachers and public schools and unions every chance they get better be prepared for major ramifications.
For starters, many of the retiring educators are veteran teachers whose leadership and expertise will be sorely missed. There is also the fear that the jobs will not be filled, resulting in a teacher shortage.
People who support exhorbitant executive pay (often the same people eagerly criticizing teachers) claim that it is necessary to attract top talent.
Do they really not realize that this applies to educators as well? Are they suggesting that attracting and retaining the very best teachers is not as important as attracting and retaining CEOs?
Teachers are already woefully underpaid in most cases. Now they have had most of their collective bargaining rights taken away, and school systems statewide are coping with slashed budgets. How are schools supposed to attain and keep top-notch educators?
This problem isn’t going away. Everyone concerned about the state of education in Wisconsin should be extremely concerned about thousands of teachers retiring in one year. Try and separate your feelings about teacher’s unions from how you feel about teachers and what they do on a daily basis.