Legislation helping southern Illinois school districts fill teaching vacancies with recently retired teachers is advancing in the state Legislature.

The legislation sponsored by state Sen. John Sullivan of Rushville passed the Senate by a 51-0 vote Wednesday.

The bill would allow retired teachers who are still certified to teach while still maintaining their eligibility for retirement. Retirees would be exempt from making contributions or receiving any new pension benefits.

Schools must have advertised the position for three months prior to the beginning of the school term and offer vacancies to teachers' whose positions have been eliminated by the district.

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