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Governor Whitmer Signs Bill Permitting Michigan Public Schools To Use Non-teaching Staff as Substitute Teachers

January 1, 2022

To address the current substitute teacher shortage, Governor Whitmer has signed a bill temporarily permitting Michigan public schools to use non-teaching staff as substitute teachers. The bill, codified as Public Act 149 of 2021 (the “Act”), amends Sections 1233 (10) through (12) of the Revised School Code and is effective from Dec. 15, 2021, through June 30, 2022. According to the Governor’s office, the Act will “temporarily allow trusted staff members such as secretaries, paraprofessionals, and others to work as substitute teachers until the end of the current school year.”

The Act allows school districts to use individuals who do not possess a teaching certificate or permit as substitute teachers so long as the individuals: (1) are otherwise employed by the school district and (2) have a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate. The Act precludes school districts from terminating any such individuals from their regular employment or retaliating against these individuals solely for declining a substitute teaching assignment.

The Act also addresses pay to these individuals for substitute teaching work. If the individual’s regular salary as an employee of the school district is higher than a substitute teacher employed at the school district, the individual’s salary for work as a substitute teacher may not be lower than his or her regular salary. On the other hand, if the individual’s regular salary is lower than a substitute teacher, the individual’s salary for work as a substitute teacher must be equal to or greater than the substitute teacher’s salary.

The full text of Public Act 149 of 2021 can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding this Act or its temporary substitute teacher requirements, please contact a member of Clark Hill’s Education team.

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