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New law clears the way for retired teachers to return without sacrificing benefits

Sarah Hulett
Michigan Radio
2nd grade teacher Kim Fox integrates fun into her class lessons at North Godwin Elementary in Wyoming, Michigan.

Gov. Snyder signed a bill Wednesday meant to alleviate the state’s ongoing teacher shortage.

The new law allows some retired teachers to return to the classroom in certain “critical shortage areas,” without sacrificing pension or health insurance benefits.

It’s not yet entirely clear where those critical shortage areas are.

The law also instructs the state superintendent to make that determination, and post the findings online by April.

Many Michigan school districts have reported particular trouble filling slots in technical and special education. There’s also a widespread shortage of substitute teachers.

A previous law that allowed retired teachers to come back without financial penalty was allowed to sunset in 2012, over concerns about some school retirees “double-dipping” — collecting paychecks while also collecting pension benefits.

But school districts pushed hard to restore the option for teachers, citing worsening teacher shortages around the state.

The new law expires in July 2018.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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