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February 23, 2024

House Advances Hamrick’s Bipartisan Bill to Boost Educator Workforce

DENVER, CO –  The House today advanced legislation on a preliminary vote 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.

“Colorado’s educator shortage is dire and our students deserve quality education,” said Eliza Hamrick, D-Centennial. “This legislation would allow more retired educators and staff to return to the schools, without the risk of losing their PERA retirement benefits. To address our educator shortage, we need to use every tool available to us.  This bill encourages retired teachers to return to the classroom and help our schools and most importantly – our 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. Specifically, school districts would be able to exceed the current 10 retiree cap by 1 retiree for every 1,000 students above 10,000 students. 

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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