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Best Employee Benefits in EducationThere's a perfect storm causing a teacher shortage: retiring teachers, pre-retirement attrition and workforce growth as a result of student enrollment increases and changes to pupil-teacher ratios. The Learning Policy Institute says that, based on the current trajectory, by 2025 the U.S. could have a shortfall of 100,000 K-12 teachers each year. Also, as Forbes reports, over half of college professors are adjunct faculty earning poor wages and with no job security — which limits the number of qualified applicants — and many full professors are retiring.

So how do you lure teaching and support personnel into the field of education? With a mix of traditional and innovative benefits. Below are examples of education employers that are offering creative perks to their workers.

Health Care Benefits

Health care is the most important benefit that you can offer an employee. Medical bills are the top cause of bankruptcy, so many employees consider health care coverage a necessity instead of a perk.

Employee Health Centers

It’s good to work at a university with a medical school. Some, like Penn State, have a walk-in employee health center that covers such illnesses and conditions as abdominal and stomach pain, flu, rashes, sprains and strains, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea and allergies. When an employee gets sick at work, the convenience of this type of on-site service is invaluable.

Domestic Partner Benefits

Health care is not only a concern for individuals; workers are also concerned about the status of their significant others. In 2012, the Pflugerville School District became the first in central Texas to offer health benefits for domestic partners. Several districts in California and the school district in Anchorage, Alaska, are also among those that have decided to offer this benefit.

Wellness Centers

Being active is important, and on-site facilities make it a lot easier to find time to exercise before or after work and on breaks. St. Petersburg College allows its employees to work out at any of its nine campus wellness centers. Equipment varies by center, but typically includes treadmills, ellipticals and recumbent bikes.

Wellness Advisory Teams

Some employees may want more than just a place to work out. Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, has a program (Lasting Improvements for Employees) that includes a team of wellness advisory experts. These individuals teach wellness classes, conduct healthy meetings and other events, and identify walking and jogging routes that employees can use.

Child Care

One stressor for parents is finding affordable child care that is conveniently located. The University of California at Berkeley and Wilson College in Pennsylvania are two schools that offer care to the children of students, faculty and staff. Knowing that their children are close by allows workers to focus on their work instead of worrying about rushing across town in traffic.

Smoking and Tobacco-Cessation Programs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco consumption can harm almost every organ in the body. Respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer are just some of the conditions that smokers are at risk for. Schools like St. Petersburg College offer smoking and tobacco-cessation programs to help employees kick the habit.

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