Rep. Ed Orcutt’s substitute teacher bill passes the house

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Rep. Ed Orcutt’s substitute teacher bill passes the house

A bill that would allow school districts in need of substitute teachers to employ retired teachers without putting their retirement benefits in jeopardy passed the House on Monday, 96-1. House Bill 1737, sponsored by Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, is on its way to the Senate where it awaits committee action.
Orcutt's proposal would permit teacher retirees under early retirement provisions to work as substitute teachers up to 630 hours per year without suspending their pension benefits. The 630-hour provision would be available to retired teachers until Aug. 1, 2020.
“Rather than just having someone come in and manage a classroom of kids, this bill would allow school districts to hire qualified substitute teachers and ensure students have a productive education day,” said Orcutt.

According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, 98 percent of principals indicated they were struggling to find substitute teachers. As a result of the shortage, 80 percent reported they had to hire under-qualified substitute teachers.

“This concerns our kids more than retirees. It is about changing a policy that is preventing our schools from hiring highly experienced retired teachers to come back to the classroom as substitutes,” continued Orcutt.

During the 2015 session, the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, but time ran out before the Senate could vote. Under legislative rules the measure was returned to the House for reconsideration.

House Bill 1737 has been referred the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it awaits a hearing.

Click here to read the bill online.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov