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Bill would let retired teachers back in front of classroom

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A bill has cleared the Michigan Senate to address a shortage of substitute teachers and of full time teachers in certain subjects. 

A law allowing teachers who retired after the middle of 2010 to teach again without losing their pensions or health benefits expired almost 18 months ago.  The bill would reinstate, until July 1, 2018, the expired provisions. 

State Representative Holly Hughes (R-Muskegon)  sponsored the House version of the bill which passed in March. She says retired teachers are among the best substitutes because they know the school, the community and the subject matter.

"We need to get out of the way and let our kids be educated by those who know what they're doing," said Hughes. "When you've got a retired teacher just down the street, why not, if they're willing to do the job, why not let them?"

"We have a list of classes that are on the critical shortage list that we need teachers for, and we're also short substitute teachers," said Hughes. "We've had schools across the state waiting for this bill to pass for months."

Hughes said she expects Governor Snyder will sign the legislation by the end of the year, and it will be effective immediately.