Let us work as substitutes after retirement, Pasco teachers say
Around Land O'Lakes High School, Robert Marsh is known as a top social studies teacher -- tough, demanding, outspoken and smart.
At 65 years old, Marsh also is ready to retire as a full-time teacher. But he's not yet wanting to give up on his profession.
"What I want to do," he told the Pasco County School Board on Tuesday, "is come back as a substitute."
Yet Florida's retirement rules say retired state employees must wait at least six months before taking another job in the system.
Marsh is far from alone. One of his colleagues, Joseph Szymanski, recently sent a note to superintendent Kurt Browning saying he was contemplating retirement and asking if he could get around the waiting rule, which was developed to avoid "double dipping" on state funds.
"When I retire I want to continue being active and challenged," Szymanski wrote. "I don't want to sit home and watch the grass grow."
The two educators noted that schools always need qualified substitutes. Why not find a way to take advantage of seasoned pros like themselves? The solution requires only a simple law change, Marsh said, suggesting the School Board put the idea in their legislative platform for 2017.
Board members were quick to take up the idea.
"We're in agreement," vice chairman Allen Altman told Marsh, after the board added the idea to its draft platform.
The board planned to share its proposals with the state school boards and superintendents association, seeking to increase support as it asks lawmakers for consideration.