Rep. Lilly’s plan to address school staffing shortages advances to governor


In this photo provided by Julie Mackett, the kindergarten teacher conducts her class at Ft. Meigs Elementary School, in Perrysburg, Ohio. Contact tracing and isolation protocols meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus are sidelining school employees and frustrating efforts to continue in-person learning. “I think everybody understands when you can’t have enough subs to fill the roles, it’s also a safety issue: You can’t have that many children without support from adults,” said Mackett, who went through her own two-week quarantine early in the school year after a student tested positive. (Courtesy of Julie Mackett via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — State Rep. Jim Lilly today led the House in approving a measure to help Michigan schools that are struggling to fill substitute teaching jobs and other positions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lilly, of Park Township, said the plan will allow experienced school district employees to come out of retirement to help underserved school districts deal with the ongoing global pandemic.

“Recent retirees are often the most qualified people to return to schools,” Lilly said. “Many times, retirees still have a passionate desire to serve, but simply no longer want to work full time. Unfortunately, they have previously been unable to step into these roles without it affecting their retirement benefits.”

Lilly’s legislation, House Bill 4694, allows recently retired public-school employees to maintain their retirement benefits if they come back to work during the pandemic.

“Throughout our state there are school districts struggling to continue in-person education because they don’t have enough bus drivers to cover their routes or teachers to instruct the next generation,” Lilly said. “This legislation will ease this burden and allow our students to get back to school.”

The measure received widespread bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and will now head to the governor for her possible signature.

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