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Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 1:00pm

Audit: Double Dipping Doesn’t Cost More

Updated: 3 years ago.
Georgia allows retired teachers to return to work to so that classrooms are never short of educators. But allowing retirees to teach doesn’t cost extra, because the state would still have to pay someone to do the job, according to a state audit. Although demand for teachers is down because of the recession, the state still has shortages in math, science, special education and foreign languages teachers. (Photo Courtesy of ywel via stock.xchng.)

A state audit finds that teachers who retire and then return to work don’t cost the state extra money.

Georgia allows retirees to return to work to so that classrooms are never short of teachers. But letting them teach doesn’t cost extra, because the state still would have to pay someone to do the job, according to the report from the state Department of Audits and Accounts.

Although demand for teachers is down because of the recession, Cyndy Stephens, director of educator workforce development and recruitment at the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, said there are subject areas in need of teachers.

“The answer to that is yes. We do a vacancy report every year as we scan our schools three times a year and we are still seeing shortages in math, science, special ed, foreign languages,” Stephens said.

Stephens said she is also starting to see indications that more teachers will be needed in the coming years.

“There is a thought nationally that there is not a need for teachers, that no one is hiring, and that’s not correct,” she said. “We’re not hiring in every field, we’re not hiring in every place in Georgia or nationally, but we are hiring.”

Stephen said approximately 9 percent of educators leave the education workforce each year.

The Senate Appropriations committee requested the report on teachers retiring and them returning to the classroom, but it’s unclear what senators plan to do with the information.