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Cleveland Uses Stimulus Funds for Veteran Teachers

Cleveland has devised an interesting idea for the stimulus funds with its teachers' union and, apparently, the blessing of Randi Weingarten, who heads up the parent union, the American Federation of Teachers.

The district will avoid about 100 layoffs by paying veteran teachers' salaries for two years while they serve as substitute teachers and coaches. They must agree to retire after that to avoid the stimulus "cliff" once the two-year funding runs out.

Weingarten approves, the story says, because it's a way of tapping into the expertise of those veterans before they retire. And surely it's better for students, and more cost-effective for schools, to have veterans serving as substitutes who can quickly pick up a lesson and keep instruction on track than using the inexperienced or not-yet-licensed instructors that typically make up substitute-teaching pools.

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