Gov. McAuliffe sending letters to recruit retired teachers for struggling school districts

PETERSBURG, Va. -- When Stewart Goodwin pulled a letter from Governor Terry McAuliffe out of her mailbox Monday, she had no idea what to expect.

"I'm going, well why is the Governor writing me?" Goodwin said.

The letter, sent to roughly 500 retired teachers in the area, asked Goodwin to consider re-entering the teaching field to help Petersburg's struggling school system.

There are currently 22 teacher vacancies in Petersburg.

Stewart Goodwin

Stewart Goodwin

 

"The students and schools of Petersburg need the kind of experience and expertise you have to offer as a veteran teacher," the letter read in part.

Charles Pyle, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Education, called the letters part of an ongoing effort to assist the struggling school system where it's challenging to get certified teachers into the classroom.

A CBS 6 problem solvers investigation in October, found that a middle school classroom in Petersburg went without a permanent math teacher for more than 9 weeks.

"With 22 teachers out that's scary," Goodwin said.

governor-letter

As part of the offer, the Governor reminded Goodwin of a state law that allows retired teachers to maintain their retirement benefits when they return to teaching.

So if they accept, the teachers would essentially be double-dipping with taxpayers paying their pension and salary.

But, Goodwin said nothing would bring her back.

"I wouldn't go back into the classroom now for anything. The behaviors in the schools are horrendous," Goodwin said. "The administration does not support the teachers, the parents do not take responsibility for the kids, the behaviors."

Pyle said the Governor also plans to send these letters to retired teachers in the Richmond area asking them to return to help Richmond Public Schools.