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February 5, 2024

Hamrick’s Bipartisan Bill to Boost Educator Workforce Passes Committee

DENVER, CO –  The House Finance Committee today passed legislation to boost Colorado’s education workforce. HB24-1044, sponsored by Representative Eliza Hamrick, would allow school districts to hire more Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) retirees, without the risk of the retirees losing their retirement benefits.

“To address Colorado’s educator and school staff shortage in Colorado’s districts, we need to use every tool available to us,” said Eliza Hamrick, D-Centennial. “This legislation would allow more retired educators to return to the classroom, without the risk of losing their PERA retirement benefits. Success in the classroom begins with a great teacher, and this bill would make it easier for retired teachers to return to the classroom and begin positively impacting students.” 

HB24-1044, also sponsored by Representative Rick Taggart, R-Grand Junction, would expand the number of service retirees that school districts may hire while still being eligible for PERA benefits. HB24-1044 passed committee by a vote 10 to 1. Under current law, school districts may only hire retirees when a “critical shortage of qualified instructors” is established. 

This bill aims to streamline placing educators in classrooms by instead allowing school districts to hire up to 10 retirees if the district identifies a “need” for additional instructors.

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