School districts react to Michigan law to attract retired educators to combat shortages
NILES, Mich. - Retired teachers in Michigan will be able to return to the classroom without giving up their retirement benefits.
Southwest Michigan school districts are hoping this will help combat teacher shortages and fill other positions.
Michigan Lawmakers passed this education bill with strong support from both parties and school districts across Southwest Michigan share that sentiment.
Retirees previously had to wait 9 months before returning to work for schools.
Now, they can get back on the job sooner and keep their benefits, which is a huge incentive.
Every school administrator that spoke to ABC57 said this is a win-win, adding they are thankful that the state is working to combat the shortage, even if short term.
Superintendent of Brandywine Schools, Travis Walker says this goes beyond just attracting and retaining educators,
"I’m glad that there's a change. A lot of people have talked about classrooms, but it's much more than that, not only filling teaching positions, transportation positions, coaching positions, I know with MHSAA there was some problems with getting officials that were impacted by this and even some administrative positions,” said Walker.
Niles Community Schools is hoping this helps fills open teaching positions,
"We felt the impact of the teacher shortage, we have few openings, but by allowing retired teachers to come back and help fill the void well get highly qualified and certified teachers into the classroom to teach those kiddos and that’s what we need,” said Adam Burtsfield the Assistant Superintendent for Niles Community Schools.
Edwardsburg Schools already taking to Facebook to attract the eligible retirees to apply for their open part time positions,