Sen. Yager and Rep. Alexander join Gov. Lee to sign legislation lowering barriers for retired teachers to return to classroom amid school staffing challenges

(NASHVILLE) On Thursday, Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesboro) joined Governor Bill Lee for a ceremonial signing of legislation sponsored by Yager and Alexander to help alleviate school staffing challenges. The new law allows retired teachers to be reemployed as a K-12 teacher, substitute teacher or bus driver without the loss or suspension of their retirement benefits.

Pictured from left to right: Danny Weeks, President of the Board of Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents; Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston); Governor Bill Lee; Representative Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesboro); Emily Warren, Government Relations Director and Staff Attorney for the Tennessee School Boards Association; and Roy West, Chief of Staff to Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard. (Photo Submitted)

“Our K-12 schools are facing serious staffing challenges for classroom teachers and bus drivers,” said Yager. “This law will help address those issues and eliminate barriers for qualified and experienced retired teachers to return to the classroom. The idea for this legislation came to me from educators in my district. I appreciate Representative Alexander for her work to pass this in the House.”

Currently, retired members of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) may return to work, but only for a maximum of 120 days. This bill removes that limit and allows retired teachers and bus drivers to return to their service for one year renewable annually, provided there are no other qualified applicants.

“As we continue to identify new ways we can support our teachers and create solutions to address staffing shortages, we are excited about the opportunity to welcome these experienced professionals back into our schools,” said Alexander. “Our students need them and we are grateful for their dedication.”

During the reemployment, retirement benefits would be reduced to 70 percent of the retirement allowance the member is otherwise entitled to receive, and the existing salary cap would be removed. The bill is effective from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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