Bill Aims To Lure Retired Teachers Back To Work

Grace Gingles has added up 26 years in the classroom. Now, she's counting on retiring at the end of the school year.

"I will miss some of the good students, and there are some of them. I will miss the fellowship that I have with my fellow teachers."

Gingles specializes in Algebra II and Geometry at Long Beach High. The assistant principal says her spot will be tough to fill.

"Math teachers are hard to replace. Another teacher, Mrs. Roberts, who teaches science, is also retiring. Both teachers actually teach our advanced curriculum.  These are teachers who really know their jobs," Darnell Cuevas said.

Cuevas believes allowing retired teachers to work full-time and continue to draw retirement benefits will entice experienced teachers to return to the classroom. She says right now, too many teachers are retiring in Mississippi, then heading out of state to find new jobs -- drawing both a salary and pension.

"The salaries are even better in other states, too. So, those are all things that draw people away. Having them make that money would keep teachers here, and we wouldn't have that shortage. We would get those teachers back, because it wasn't dissatisfaction with Mississippi that they left. They left for money".

As for the retiring Mrs. Gingles, she says the plan gives her an option, in case she changes her mind about coming back to class.

"My financial situation is pretty secure. If something were to happen to my financial situation, then it certainly could lure me in."

Senator Mike Chaney has introduced a bill to create a committee to study ways to restructure the pension plan for teachers. The bill is Senate Bill 2321 .