NASHVILLE, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – On Thursday, Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesboro)  joined Governor Bill Lee for a ceremonial signing of legislation sponsored by Yager and Alexander to help alleviate school staffing challenges. The new law allows retired teachers to be reemployed as a K-12 teacher, substitute teacher or bus driver without the loss or suspension of their retirement benefits.

“Our K-12 schools are facing serious staffing challenges for classroom teachers and bus drivers,” said Yager. “This law will help address those issues and eliminate barriers for qualified and experienced retired teachers to return to the classroom. The idea for this legislation came to me from educators in my district. I appreciate Representative Alexander for her work to pass this in the House.”

Pictured from left to right: Danny Weeks, President of the Board of Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents; Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston); Governor Bill Lee; Representative Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesboro); Emily Warren, Government Relations Director and Staff Attorney for the Tennessee School Boards Association; and Roy West, Chief of Staff to Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard.

Currently, retired members of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) may return to work, but only for a maximum of 120 days. This bill removes that limit and allows retired teachers and bus drivers to return to their service for one year renewable annually, provided there are no other qualified applicants.”

As we continue to identify new ways we can support our teachers and create solutions to address staffing shortages, we are excited about the opportunity to welcome these experienced professionals back into our schools,” said Alexander. “Our students need them and we are grateful for their dedication.”

During the reemployment, retirement benefits would be reduced to 70 percent of the retirement allowance the member is otherwise entitled to receive, and the existing salary cap would be removed. The bill is effective from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/08/2022-6AM)