- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Certain retired teachers could return to the classroom because of a shortage of substitutes or not enough full-time teachers in some subjects under legislation that cleared the Michigan Senate on Tuesday.

The bill, approved 35-0, was sent back to the House, which approved an earlier version in March and plans to vote Wednesday to send the measure to Gov. Rick Snyder.

A law allowing teachers who retired after mid-2010 to teach again without losing their retirement benefits expired nearly 18 months ago. The measure would re-enact provisions that let public school retirees work in an area identified as a critical shortage discipline, as a substitute teacher or as an instructional coach or school improvement facilitators and still get a pension.

Retirees hired in shortage subjects could work up to three years without risking their pension or health care. Retirees working as substitutes could receive full retirement benefits as long as they earn no more than one-third of their final average compensation in a calendar year.

The legislation would require those rehired as substitutes, instructional coaches or improvement facilitators to have retired between June 30, 2010 and Sept. 1, 2015. It also would allow two or contiguous districts to request the state superintendent to add a subject to the critical shortage list.



Such areas currently include early childhood, special ed, foreign languages and such occupations as construction trades, hospitality, cosmetology, auto technicians and welding.

Reasons for the substitute teaching shortage are varied, including an improved unemployment rate that has meant job seekers who might have taken a part-time job substitute teaching landed full-time positions in education or another field. But school administrators and the companies they contract with for substitutes have said legislators also are at fault.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Holly Hughes of Montague, has said retired teachers were snared in lawmakers’ crackdown on superintendents making six figures who “double dipped” by retiring, collecting a pension and being rehired by an outside agency to do the same job.

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Online:

House Bill 4059: https://1.usa.gov/1LLIfKj

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