DENVER, CO – The House Education Committee today unanimously passed bipartisan legislation to address the teacher workforce shortage and prepare Colorado students for success. HB22-1057 would waive limitations on the number of days retired teachers can work as substitute teachers.
“We’re using every tool available to prepare our students for success and that starts with addressing the critical substitute teacher storage,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan D-Durango. “The pandemic pressures on teachers have been relentless, especially in our rural and underserved districts. This bill would work to boost our teacher workforce by waiving PERA limitations currently placed on qualified, retired teachers allowing them to return to the classroom as substitutes and move Colorado forward.”
If passed, HB22-1057 would temporarily waive the limitations set by the public employees' retirement association (PERA) regarding the number of days qualified service retirees can substitute teach. Under current limitations, if retired teachers work over the number of allotted days, their PERA benefits are reduced. The bill temporarily lifts the waiver until July 1st, 2025. Additionally, qualified service retirees can teach in any school district while there is a critical substitute teacher shortage in Colorado.
Colorado is facing a significant teacher shortage. During the 2020-2021 school year nearly 13% of teacher positions were filled through a shortage mechanism and more than 200 positions went completely unfilled statewide. This bill aims to incentivize retired teachers to help with shortages by making it possible for them to substitute teach without the fear of losing their PERA benefits.