Ordinarily, we don't support the idea of retired government employees returning to government jobs so they can earn paychecks at the same time they're collecting pension payments.
But as with all rules, there are notable exceptions.
Baltimore County has found one, with its solution to a shortage of school bus drivers.
The county has had so much trouble filling driver's seats that children have been delivered to class a half-hour to 45 minutes late. More of the same could happen this year.
That's why it's good to see that County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger has finally come around and is seeking to narrowly change a county law that prohibits retired employees from collecting government pay checks. The change would allow retired police officers, firefighters and others to drive school buses.
Filling slots with retired government employees certainly isn't new and should be limited.
Retired judges often hear cases in overloaded courts. Teachers and administrators have been known to retire from one jurisdiction and work in another.
Baltimore County allowed a handful of retired workers to gain exemption from the county law and drive school buses after they already had been employed. Those workers collected an average of $26,597 a year in retirement pay and about $18,700 as drivers.
Before they were exempted, those employees were told to choose between their paychecks and pension checks. Budget officials were concerned that a policy letting people collect both checks would prompt many to retire early.
But it's doubtful that a bus-driving job will lure scores into early retirement. And at the same time, the need for quality school bus drivers is certain.
County officials should be more concerned about getting kids to school on time than whether someone collects a pension while earning $11 an hour driving a bus.
With school bus service slipping, the need for more drivers is apparent. The Baltimore County Council has good reason to allow a narrow exception to the double-dipping prohibition.