SPRINGBORO, Ohio (WDTN) — The substitute teacher shortage has become a big challenge for many school districts as they navigate teaching thousands of students in the midst of a pandemic.
“Substitutes are hard to find, bus drivers are hard to find. It’s just very difficult to fill those positions,” said Scott Marshall, communications coordinator for Springboro Schools.
Officials said fewer college graduates are getting into teaching, meaning fewer substitutes and COVID is complicating things even more.
“People may not have the availability that they used to and there’s also concern over the pandemic coming out to work,” Marshall said.
Springboro Schools said Thursday it will increase pay for substitute teachers starting next week. Beginning Nov. 25, Springboro Schools’ substitute teachers will see an increase in pay from $90 per day to $100 per day.
According to research by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) the shortage could reach 200,000 by 2025, up from 110,000 in 2018. They say this shortage is due to a number of factors including pay and working conditions. Local districts are covering classrooms with the help of other staff.
“That is taxing because we’re asking teachers who have planned time to give that up when they could be getting ready for the next day or even classes later in the day to cover for that teacher or staff member that’s out,” said Dr. Laura Blessing, superintendent of Miamisburg City Schools.
In Miamisburg, the majority of the substitutes are retired teachers. “That group of folks may have some health concerns or safety concerns about the pandemic,” said Blessing.
In Centerville, the superintendent said on average they need 89 to 115 substitutes every day.
“Last Friday, almost a week ago from tomorrow, we needed 113 subs to cover classrooms and we had 12 classrooms that were uncovered,” said Dr. Tom Henderson, superintendent of Centerville City Schools.
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