A bill introduced in the state House on Tuesday would temporarily allow some retired teachers more flexibility in how much they can work without losing their retirement benefits.
House Bill 1737 is a response to the substitute teacher shortage in Washington state, which has left schools and districts scrambling to fill substitute requests and combining classes when subs can’t be found. Lawmakers behind the bill say the shortage is partly caused by a state pension plan that keeps some retired teachers — a group that school districts traditionally rely on for subs — from substitute teaching.
Under the bill, teachers who retired early under a certain retirement plan would be allowed to substitute teach up to 216 hours — or about 27 days — before losing their retirement benefits, at least for a few years.
The bill, if passed, is designed to give school districts enough time to adjust to the substitute shortage. If it passes, its provisions would sunset in 2019, and the teachers would go back to losing their pensions any month they worked even a day for a public employer.More