State Sen. Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, has pre-filed a pair of bills for the upcoming session that would make minor adjustments to tougher new rules regarding educators who retire and are then rehired, allowing them to simultaneously collect retirement benefits and a paycheck.

Cortez’s legislation — Senate Bills 19 and 20 — tweaks current law by allowing retired teachers to be rehired as substitute teachers in K-12 (SB 19) and adjunct professors (SB 20), provided the earnings of those rehired retired teachers doesn’t exceed 25 percent of his or her retirement benefits.

The present law was tightened last year to restrict the retire-rehire practice — that is, allowing public education employees to be rehired and collect both their retirement benefits and a paycheck — to classroom teachers serving in a “critical shortage area.” A consensus emerged among lawmakers leading into last year’s session that the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana’s retire-rehire system was being abused, specifically by non-classroom administrative staff who were allowed to, for example, retire on a Friday and be rehired in their same position on a Monday and begin collecting retirement benefits and a paycheck. Non-classroom personnel can still retire and be rehired, but their retirement benefits are suspended during the term of their re-employment.

To read the full text of SB 19, click here. Go here for SB 20.

For more on prior abuses of retire-rehire, read our March 31, 2010 cover story, “The Revolving Door.”

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