The CTU is working to address the substitute teacher shortage through two bills – HB 2968, introduced by State Rep. Will Davis (30th District), and SB 1584, introduced by State Senator Omar Aquino (2nd District). The bills increase the number of days a retired teacher can substitute teach without a pension penalty by 20 percent, from 100 days to 120 days – allowing retirees to serve as substitute teachers for a full 24 weeks during the school year without forfeiting their pensions. If passed, the legislation will add a full month of eligible work opportunities to retired teachers. Both bills unanimously passed their respective committees this week: the House Personnel & Pensions Committee, chaired by State Rep. Robert Martwick (19th District), and the Senate Government Accountability & Pensions Committee, chaired by Aquino. Both bills now go to the floor of each chamber for a full vote.

A fall 2018 survey by IARSS – the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools – found that only 3 percent of the state’s school superintendents indicated that they had ‘no problem’ lining up substitute teachers. CPS has chronic substitute shortages, despite the willingness of our retirees, who are some of the district’s most experienced veteran teachers, to undertake this work – because retirees risked their pensions by substituting at our schools for more than 100 days.