News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Micciche
For Immediate Release: August 10, 2018

Schools Gain New Tool to Fill Vacancies

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Fairbank – Today Governor signed a bill allowing school districts to temporarily fill vacancies with qualified retired teachers.

SB 185, sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna), provides school districts with an additional staffing option until a permanent teacher can be hired, helping school districts maintain quality education while balancing their budgets.

“Alaska’s school districts are facing staffing challenges,” said Sen. Micciche. “Currently, Alaska is experiencing a shortage of qualified educators, especially in remote communities. As state budgets continue to be reduced, it is important that districts are given adequate tools to hire qualified, appropriate educators, even during challenging times.”

SB 185 allows school districts to re-employ retired educators to fill short-term needs. Retirees who are re-employed under these new allowances will continue to receive retirement benefits during the period of reemployment. School districts will still be required to contribute to the Teachers Retirement System at the same rate that districts contribute for active employees.

“This is a nationwide issue and we don’t expect to rebound any time soon,” said Sen. Micciche. “SB 185 is a critical tool for local school districts to keep experienced educators in front of Alaska’s children while they continue their efforts in hiring the best and brightest new teachers to fill empty positions.”

SB 185 passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House by a vote of 37 to 1, for a combined vote of 56 to 1.

For more information, please contact the Senate Majority Press Office at (907) 269-0147.

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