Plan will return qualified teachers to Michigan classrooms
The state Senate and House this week voted to approve Rep. Holly Hughes’ plan to give local districts flexibility and allow retired teachers to continue substitute teaching without losing retirement benefits.
“Our students need classrooms with experienced educators and professionals to maximize each instructional day,” Hughes said. “With a shortage of qualified substitute teachers, our children are not always getting that. It’s important we continue to allow experienced former teachers to fill these position without disruption.”
Current law allowing retired teachers to substitute without losing their benefits was set to expire in July. Additionally, the law provided only for teachers who retired prior to Sept. 1, 2015, the ability to return in a short-term substitute role.
House Bill 4422 extends these provisions to July 2021 and allows those who retired before the current 2017-18 school year to substitute.
“It’s unacceptable to students, other teachers and school administration that over 1,000 Michigan classrooms a day do not have substitute teachers,” said Hughes, of Montague. “This plan will help our school districts have more options and our students have a better overall education.”
Hughes’ legislation will also allow the retired teachers to accept positions focused on literacy instruction and leadership development under the High-Impact Leadership for School Renewal Project, a three-year program supported by a federal grant. The $12.5 million project will bring added instruction and support to over 160 elementary schools across the state to help improve reading literacy, with many schools across west Michigan. Among the Muskegon County schools are Edgewood in the Fruitport Community School District, Campbell in the Mona Shores Public School District, Cardinal in Orchard View Schools, Oehrli in the Montague Area Public Schools District, Moon and Oakview in Muskegon Public School District, and Dr. Martin Luther King Academy.
The bill advances to the governor for his consideration.