Mineral Wells Area News

Rogers Asks TEA/TRA to Suspend Penalties for Retired Educators to Re-Enter Workforce Amid Teacher Shortage

Rogers Asks TEA/TRA to Suspend Penalties for Retired Educators to Re-Enter Workforce Amid Teacher Shortage
July 22
12:50 2022

By Amy Bearden

In response to the tragedy in Uvalde, Representative Glenn Rogers spent the summer visiting every school district in House District 60 to discuss school security and safety, as well as other issues relating to public education.

School safety was the intended topic of the meetings at all 16 ISD’s in HD60 but a different concern came up every single time. Schools are in desperate need of teachers.

“In every ISD, we listened to concerns about the teacher shortage, as well as the surplus cost to rehire retired teachers. My office decided to send a letter to TEA and TRS in hopes to address this major concern throughout the entire state,” said Rogers.

He thinks almost every district has retired teachers ready to step up to the plate, but current rules make it difficult.

HD60 Representative Glenn Rogers creates plan to get teachers back in the classroom

“These teachers bring decades of classroom expertise to districts struggling to recruit new educators. Moreover, in the wake of historical inflation, gas prices, and deflated purchasing power of annuities, many of these retirees are eager to return to work to supplement their income in the communities they love,” Roger stated in a release.

“Unfortunately, Texas statute currently penalizes retirees from returning to work full-time unless the educator has taken a year- long hiatus from the profession. Texas law further requires the school districts to pay a 16% surcharge for each retired teacher they hire, as well as a significant contribution to the insurance system. Under normal circumstances, these guidelines are to maintain the actuarial soundness of the TRS Fund; however, it is clear that our state is not under normal circumstances, and many of the school districts across the state are forced to forgo experienced teachers due to the added expense,” he stated.

He has sent letters to the state agencies asking for an emergency ruling to declare the teacher shortage a state of emergency and temporarily suspend the pension surcharge for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year. Additionally, we is asking for a suspension of the one-year wait period for any retiree who retired before Aug. 31, 2022.

Rogers notes that this ruling is not a long-term resolution but it would provide immediate flexibility to school districts before state officials can reconvene to discuss a permanent solution.

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