Waco, TX (FOX 44) — Waco ISD is offering incentives to get retired teachers back into the classroom.

The need for retired teaches comes from the shortage in teachers, Covid-19, and the great resignation.

Waco ISD Assistant Superintendent of HR Daniel Lopez says the district currently has 22 teacher vacancies, a majority of them are in special education.

The district currently has four retired teachers who’ve re-entered the classroom full time.

“Those who came back into the workforce this year with us, those four, they received a $5,000 signing bonus, those that are working half time received half of that $5,000,” said Lopez.

The Texas’ Teacher Retirement System is also allowing teachers who retired on or before January 1, 2021 to return to work without forfeiting their annuity.

Lopez says what a retired teacher would make coming back into the classroom would depend on their years of service.

“It really is where they left off when they left us, so we try to match their salary and then add the incremental raise that we would have given to all other employees, which this year was three percent,” said Lopez.

Karen Kay with the Waco-McLennan County Retired Teachers Association says many newly retired teachers in the group substitute in the classroom.

For retired teachers, Kay says it depends on how long they’ve away from the job.

“The technology and just getting away from the classroom and then stepping back in, sometimes you get to the point where you feel like you might not be quite up to speed like it used to be,” said Kay.

Retired teachers reentering the classroom don’t have to pay back into TRS.

The caveeat is for retired teachers is that they’ve had to have sat out for an entire year before receiving this pay.

Here’s a link to Waco ISD job openings.