Indiana schools tap resource of retired educators to battle teacher shortage

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – While classes are back in session, many school districts are still trying to find teachers amid a statewide shortage.

Some schools are now turning to retired educators to fill that gap.

The state has seen an 18-percent drop in the number of teachers receiving first-time licenses in the past 5 years, particularly in the areas of science and math.

Ron Bruner retired from teaching in 2009 – but now he is back filling a hole left by another math teacher, back in his original classroom in which he began teaching in 1977.

Bruner had no plans of ever returning to the classroom. But when he learned about the last-minute vacancy at Beech Grove High School where he taught math for over 30 years, he offered up his sage experience.

And it may take more retirees like him to help close the gap until the state can figure out a solution.

A legislative committee is trying to figure out why Indiana is seeing fewer people become teachers. It will sit down in October to review its findings and come up with a plan to recruit the next generation of educators.

Officials say along with math and science, two other topics in dire need of recruits for teaching are foreign languages and special education.


Follow Emily Pace on Twitter: @EmilyAPace

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