• The San Juan Daily Star

Teacher shortage prompts recruitment of retired educators

Due to a shortfall of some 2,000 teachers, the Education Department is devoting part of its recruitment effort to getting retired educators back into public school classrooms.

By The Star Staff

Due to a shortfall of some 2,000 teachers, Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés on Thursday called upon retired teachers to return to the public school system.

“We are going to be working in job fairs in the month of June,” he said. “After that first phase of recruitment, we will be seeing and contemplating how to bring retired teachers into the system to cover those areas where recruitment is still not enough.”

The secretary noted that he also needs to fill 250 vacan-cies for school counselors.

“We know that even with the issue of retirees, it is a staff that is licensed and requires very particular skills and it is difficult to find them,” he added. “We know that there are retired counselors who are there and who could possibly come to the department to continue working with us.”

Ramos Parés noted that although the agency gave perma-nent job status to some 968 temporary teachers, there are still 3,000 temporary teachers in the system.

“Basically we are talking about 3,000 temporary teachers that we still have left,” he said. “In the next few days, we will be extending the appointment of those temporary teachers who will not have to go through a new recruitment process. And at the same time, we are giving them the opportunity so that in a period of two years they can, at the cost of the department, in alliance with the University of Puerto Rico, complete the credits that they need.”

Because of the confirmation of the Debt Adjustment Plan (PAD by its Spanish acronym) approved by the island government and the Financial Oversight and Management Board to restructure some $30 billion in debt, many teach-ers opted to retire before the PAD went into effect to avoid losing retirement benefits.

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