Legislation passes senate addressing school staffing challenges

Published 1:32 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2022

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The Senate has passed legislation by Sen. Ken Yager (R-Kingston) to help school districts across Tennessee address ongoing staffing challenges. Senate Bill 2702 would allow retired members of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) to be reemployed as a K-12 teacher, K-12 substitute teacher or as a K-12 bus driver without the loss or suspension of the retired member’s TCRS benefits.

“This important legislation I believe will go a long way to alleviating the staffing crunch facing schools statewide,” said Yager. “Many retirees are already helping their local school districts and want to continue to help but are being held back by current requirements. This bill temporarily removes those barriers to provide much needed support in our schools. The companion bill has passed the House and I’m appreciative of Rep. Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesborough) for her strong support.”

Currently, retired members of TCRS may return to work, but only for a maximum of 120 days. This bill removes that limit and extends service to one year renewable annually, provided there are no other qualified applicants.

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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 would be effective from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025.