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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 8, 2016 10:17 AM
From: Representative James R. Roebuck, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Substitute Teacher Co-sponsorship
Substitute teachers play a vital role in maintaining momentum and continuity in the classroom. When students’ regularly assigned teachers are unavailable due to illness, hiring shortages, or professional development needs, substitute teachers help fill in the gaps so student learning is not interrupted.

When substitutes are not available, many schools rely on other teachers to fill in during their prep periods – time that should be dedicated to thoughtful planning, professional collaboration or other academic preparation. When neither substitutes nor a teacher on a prep period are available, students must do without a teacher in their classroom for a day, a week or even longer. Without a pool of consistently available, qualified substitutes, schools can become caught in a frenetic – and expensive – game of catch-up throughout the year and students pay the price.

This is why I plan to introduce legislation that would allow retired teachers to return to the classroom to serve as day-to-day or long term substitutes for up to 90 days without interruption of their PSERS retirement benefit. This legislation would mirror current law that allows state employees to return to service for a certain period of time without affecting their SERS retirement benefits.

I urge you to co-sponsor this initial step in the movement to improve substitute teacher availability across the Commonwealth.

Introduced as HB1989