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State Board Hopes Retired Teachers Can Help Solve Teacher Shortage

TOPEKA (KASB) – Facing a teacher shortage, the State Board of Education on Tuesday approved a way for retired teachers to more easily return to the classroom.

Under the action, a retired teacher whose license has expired can receive a transitional license for the upcoming school year after passing a background check.

Education leaders in Kansas and across the nation have warned of significant teaching and general staffing shortages.

The number of educators in Kansas retiring annually has increased over the past four years from 699 in 2019 to 986 this year, according to the Kansas State Department of Education. In addition, there are 5,242 teachers aged 55 or older. And more retired teachers have renewed their licenses, increasing from 368 in 2020 to 766 this year.

In June, the State Board of Ed approved allowing districts to hire emergency substitute teachers who have a high school diploma but no college credit. The standard requirement in Kansas for a substitute teacher was having 60 college credit hours.

Meanwhile, the Teacher Vacancy and Supply Committee is working over the next few months on long-term solutions for the teacher shortage.

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