Surge in teacher retirements across Ohio could increase as year progresses

Cleveland teacher numbers hold steady but many taking “wait-and-see” attitude

Surge in teacher retirements across Ohio could increase as year progresses
Teacher retirements around the state have increased this year but Cleveland schools haven't seen the effects...yet (Source: Vic Gideon)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio reports more than twice as many teachers submitted applications this summer than in the last two summers.

Cleveland schools, however, don’t seem to be experiencing the same surge.

“I think we have some who have taken a wait-and-see approach,” says Cleveland Teachers Union President Shari Obrenski, who says it might come later since teachers can retire at any time, even during the year, once they become eligible for retirement.

Surge in teacher retirements across Ohio could increase as year progresses

“The challenges of being in a remote setting may be something that people who have been sticking around for a while may think, ’Yeah, this is a challenge I just can’t do,’ and they decide partway through the year, ’I really need to step aside and let someone else take on this challenge.’”

The teachers might also step away when students and teachers return to the classroom, according to Obrenski.

“I think starting remotely has put several people’s minds at ease.”

While Cleveland Metropolitan School District students don’t return for at least nine weeks, beginning with online learning on Tuesday, September 8, teachers are already working to help students.

“All our educators are reaching out this week and completing what we call Family Care Plans to make sure our families have the technology they need, that they are aware of breakfast and lunch options for students,” says Obrenski.

She does say there is a silver-lining to the remote learning as part of the district’s COVID-19 precautions. Every student in the district now has a needed electronic device to help them work from home.

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