Did you know there is a teacher shortage in Michigan?

I did not.  These bills sound like a pretty good temporary solution to this problem.

According to an article in the Detroit Free Press Michigan lawmakers are working on legislation that would help elevate that problem.  The fix would allow retired teachers and noncertified people in the classroom and not reduce the amount they receive from their pensions.

The bills wouldn’t just benefit retired teachers but also help out school districts having a difficult time finding qualified teachers in areas where there are extreme shortages, particularly special education and career-technical education.

House Bill 4059 which is very similar to a law that passed 2012. That law but expired in 2014 would allow:

  • Retired for at least a year to be hired to teach for up to three years in shortage areas.
  • The bill would also allow retirees to come back to work as substitute teachers, instructional coaches and school improvement facilitators.
  • More importantly to the retired teachers would not hurt their retirement benefits. Of note is the retired teachers would not be able to use the time or money they earn to recalculate their retirement benefits.

The Senate Bill 491 goes a bit further and would increase the number of subjects in which Michigan school districts can hire noncertified teachers.

What is a noncertified person?  It is a person who does not have a college degree in math or science topics but has real world experience.  The bill would allow Michigan school districts to hire these people to teach as long as the person has had had five years of job experience in the subjects within the last six years.

I believe these people with real world experience in these subjects would be a great asset to the Michigan school districts and more importantly to the students, do you?

Currently the school districts with these shortage increasing caseloads for existing staff.

Michigan’s Senate Education Committee will discuss and take testimony on their bill today. The Senate bill was passed by the Michigan House in March.

Let’s discuss this today on my show, The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.