Bill would encourage retired teachers to return to K-12 classrooms as substitutes

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 19, 2020 — State Rep. Sheryl Kennedy (D-Davison) introduced House Bill 5497 yesterday to reduce the growing substitute teacher shortage afflicting school districts throughout Michigan. The bipartisan bill would allow retired teachers to return to K-12 classrooms as long-term substitute teachers without negatively affecting their pensions or diminishing their retirement benefits.

“Michigan’s public schools are experiencing a critical shortage in qualified substitute teachers,” said Kennedy, who serves as co-chair of the legislative Educator’s Caucus. “If we want to ensure our children receive the world-class education they deserve, we should be doing all we can to encourage our most experienced educators to return to the classroom, not turn them away. I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their support in tackling one of the biggest challenges facing Michigan’s K-12 schools.”

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Kennedy’s bill, the first produced by months of bipartisan collaboration within the legislative Educator’s Caucus, would remove the existing earnings cap for returning retirees and allow retired teachers to return to the classroom to substitute teach in as early as 30 days.

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