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A little help with Colorado’s teacher shortage

Even in Boulder, but especially in rural and other Colorado communities, the teacher shortage is crazy! There are teachers regularly covering classes during their planning periods, multiple classes of kids crowded into a single room with one teacher, administrators covering classrooms instead of administrating, teachers reluctant to take a sick day because of what that will mean to colleagues when there is no sub . . . it’s bad.

The Pension Review Committee (I serve on this committee’s Pension Review Subcommittee), just approved a bill that can help. Basically, it will allow public schools and universities in need to hire more retired educators without those educators jeopardizing their retirement benefits. If passed by the legislature during the next session, this new law will be a welcome salve for our public education employment crisis.

As a former Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) trustee, I recognize the need to monitor implementation of this bill to make sure its financial ramifications don’t significantly undermine PERA’s progress toward full funding. Still, the educator shortage is so dire now that this action is warranted, and hopefully, this law will be enacted.

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