HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Teacher shortages continue to affect school districts across the Midstate.

Harrisburg is getting creative and digging into its pockets to find a solution for paying former teachers to come out of retirement.

Harrisburg School District hopes retired teachers will take advantage of the offer to become substitutes as a way to fight a shortage affecting every grade level.

“Without that education, you’re not going to always be that person you can be.” Retired teacher Denise Long said.

Long taught for 25 years, and even after retirement her love of education still runs deep.

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She didn’t have to think very hard about pitching into help with the ongoing teacher shortage.

“I have and will submit an application for a day-to-day to try to help out with the shortage of teachers,” Long said.

The applicant information goes into the Harrisburg School District’s database which will help cross-check which teachers are qualified to sub in different subjects and grade area.

Retirees can make up to $350 a day to substitute without hurting their pensions.

“It takes you 15 minutes, if you have that much time and then you are good to go. The process is quite easy and again the positions they have for it is fantastic,” Jaymes Steele with Kelly Education said.

“Now you’re talking about somebody who was a former classroom teacher somebody that comes with classroom management when it comes to lesson planning comes to delivering instruction you have someone that’s already done that,” Harrisburg District Superintendent Eric Turman said.

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Turman says there are many reasons for the teacher shortages that many districts across the nation are having.

“We need to start to get ahead of the curve we are going to take a very aggressive approach to that because what the concerns and issues what districts are seeing today it’s not going to go away tomorrow,” Turman said.

“We don’t always know what we’re really going to be good at until we get involved with it and they may surprise themselves and really enjoy it and plus your helping the next generation to become the people they can be,” Long said.

Turman says Harrisburg has a big need for special education, ESL, and secondary teachers.

The district hopes to have at least 30 retirees on board as substitutes.

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