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SB 765 clears Legislature, raising prospect of additional relief for schools facing staffing shortages


CSBA co-sponsored legislation will help retired teachers return to the classroom

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 8, 2023) – Senate Bill 765, authored by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank), would help provide an immediate tool for local educational agencies (LEAs) to address staffing shortages by facilitating the return of retired teachers to the classroom. The bill passed out of the Legislature and is on its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. If signed, it would help bring relief to LEAs seeking additional options for filling teacher and administrator vacancies.

“Senate Bill 765 gives school districts and county offices of education a tool to address one of the state’s most pressing and intractable problems — the school staffing crisis,” said California School Boards Association (CSBA) President Susan Markarian. “A shallow pool of candidates hinders the ability of school districts to place qualified personnel in the classroom and offer students the best possible learning experience. Retired teachers and other staff are some of the best-equipped candidates to hit the ground running and provide sound instruction and services to our students. SB 765 would provide immediate relief, and although a temporary solution, it is a critical measure to help ensure all students have a qualified teacher in their classrooms.”

Like many states, California is experiencing a teacher shortage that has reached alarming levels, leaving LEAs with high vacancy rates and underprepared teachers, while forcing them to rely on substitutes, increase class sizes and assign teachers outside their areas of training — scenarios that hurt all students and exert a disproportionate impact on low-income, minority and English learner students.

Co-sponsored with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, SB 765 would help combat the teacher shortage by streamlining the process for retired teachers to return to the classroom. The bill would waive the 180-day mandatory waiting period LEAs must observe before hiring a recently retired teacher, and temporarily increase the California State Teacher’s Retirement System (CalSTRS) post-retirement compensation limit from 50 to 70 percent. These modest yet important measures mean a retired teacher could help fill a critical teaching need for a longer period of time than under current law.

Retired teachers and other staff are some of the best-equipped candidates to hit the ground running and provide excellent instruction and services to California students. SB 765 would provide immediate relief for schools working to place a qualified teacher in every classroom and chip away at the teacher shortage while ongoing efforts to attract new candidates to the profession begin to bear fruit.


CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts
and county offices of education throughout California.