Q: A 2nd grade teacher has retired leaving a vacant position which we intend to fill with a teacher currently assigned to 3rd grade. Due to the class size of the upcoming class, the campus is not certain that the 3rd grade teacher’s position needs to be filled. Can we wait to hire a teacher and allow the retired teacher to come back as a substitute in the 3rd grade class without being liable for the TRS surcharge?
A: Yes, due to a recent change in TRS rules, effective September 1, 2016, the retired teacher can be assigned to a vacant position, but only after one full month of separation in employment and her assignment for the upcoming school year as a substitute must be limited to 20 work days.
The current TRS rule allows a retiree to substitute without limit in a position held by a current employee – provided the retiree is only working as a substitute. The change in the rule will allow retirees to also serve as a substitute in a vacant position, but for no more than 20 days in each vacant position. Keep in mind, the retiree may not serve as a substitute in the position she vacated. In addition, if the retiree combines substitute work and any other type of school district work–the employee is limited to working no more than one-half the work days in the calendar month. Failure to limit the teacher’s working hours to one-half time will result in the District being liable for the TRS surcharge.