How The Mesa Public Schools District Re-Hires Retiring Teachers

By Mariana Dale
Published: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 5:41pm
Updated: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 5:42pm
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
Mesa Public Schools is the largest district in the state.

Arizona’s largest school district will spend millions of dollars this year to re-hire retired educators.

The Mesa Public Schools Governing Board recently approved the district spending up to $14 million to hire educators through so-called employee leasing companies.

“We have an aging population of teachers and a lot of them coming to their retirement years. Same thing in support personnel,” said Mesa Public Schools assistant superintendent of human resources Shaun Holmes.

A 2015 report from the Arizona Department of Education found 24 percent of the state’s teachers were eligible to retire between 2013 and 2018.

Employee leasing companies such as Education Services, Inc. offer educators on cheaper contracts to districts. That’s because retired employees are still able to collect their state pension if they return to a public district through the employee leasing company.

“It’s a way for employees who have retired and maybe want a little bit more flexibility to continue working in public schools,” Holmes said. “It’s also a way for districts to save a little bit of money.”

Mesa could spend up to 32 percent more on these companies this school year. In the 2017/2018 school year, the district spent $10,561,918.92.

The Arizona Republic reported extensively on employee leasing in 2010. Among the concerns are increased pressure on the state retirement system.

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