According to the new Tennessee legislation, retired teachers may return to the classroom while still receiving their retirement benefits, which was signed into effect by Governor Bill Lee. The measure was meant to help fill teacher shortages around the state.
According to the Professional Educators of Tennessee, the state could need an additional 2,000 teachers. There are 128 openings for teachers in the district, as reported by Knox County Schools.
The Professional Educators of Tennessee agreed that teacher compensation has to be improved, but said that the new legislation was a start in the right path to address teacher vacancies. “This is something that is going on across the nation. We’re struggling in the shortage area to get teachers into the classroom. Who better than the people who have already proven that they’re capable of teaching?” Executive Director JC Bowman said.
Teachers will be able to preserve their benefits under the new rule, but they will only be able to sign one-year contracts. Until the statute expires in 2025, retired teachers have the option of resigning once per year. These educators may work full- or part-time, depending on your needs. Bowman said retiring teachers will gravitate more toward substitute than full-time.
Bowman believes that this is just a partial solution to the problem. One-quarter of the vacancies will be filled, and there will be room for additional workers in other places. Another strategy to consider is motivating high school and university students to pursue further education. According to him, giving more competitive wages might also assist. The new legislation also helps retired school bus drivers to help fill some of their vacancies.