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Critical Shortage Waiver — 2020 Update

On April 3, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020. The Act adopts measures to help municipalities operate during the state of emergency that the governor declared on March 10, 2020.

Relevant to Critical Shortage Waivers for retired educators, Section 14 of the Act states:

  • (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, subsections (b) and (c) of section 91 of chapter 32 of the General Laws shall not apply in calendar year 2020 to [see (i)] for hours worked and earnings received during the governor's March 10, 2020 state of emergency:

  • (i) any person who has been retired and who is receiving a pension or retirement allowance, pursuant to said chapter 32 or any other general or special law, from the commonwealth or a county, city, town, district or authority;

As a result of this legislation, it is possible that certain retired employees may not need a critical shortage waiver. For the January 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020 period, a waiver is only necessary if the employee exceeded their hours or earning limits between January 1, 2020 and March 9, 2020.

With regards to the potential need for a critical shortage waiver for the period of July 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020, it will largely be dependent on when the state of emergency ends. For example, if the Governor ends the state of emergency on 8/31/20 then any earnings and hours accrued by a retired educator between 3/10/2020 – 8/31/2020 would be exempt from the educator's post-retirement restrictions, and a waiver would only be necessary if any hours or earnings from January 1, 2020 to March 9, 2020 when added to hours or earnings from September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 exceed the statutory limits.

For more information, please contact the Office of Educator Licensure's Waiver Specialist, Donavin Bentley, at 781-338-6624 or .

Last Updated: June 8, 2020

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Questions related to educator licensure in Massachusetts, please call the Licensure Call Center: 781-338-6600, Hours: Monday-Friday 9am–1pm & 2pm–5pm.

Helene Bettencourt
Associate Commissioner
Phone: 781-338-3120

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
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