Superintendent Bates – I have noticed, especially the last few weeks that many teachers have had a difficult time finding substitutes to cover their classes while they are away, especially if it is an emergency and they put a sub request in the morning of the absence. Is there a way to help with this? I know there are many substitutes available that are not taking jobs. I also know several people who have tried to apply for a job as a substitute, but were told they cannot because they do not possess a college degree. Why is this? Why do the teachers have to come to school when we are sick or our family members are sick because we cannot find a substitute? It does not make sense to me that the district is turning away people who do not possess a college degree, but many teachers cannot get their classes covered when they need it? Are there any plans to help change this?
Response – Thank you for your question. Last spring the decision was made to lower the degree requirement from a bachelor’s degree to an associate’s degree in an attempt to attract additional substitute teachers. We currently have approximately 900 substitute teachers, but still struggle filling classrooms, especially when the substitute is requested the morning of the absence. Principals may recommend the hire of emergency substitute teachers for their school only. Emergency substitutes work in only one school and do not have a degree requirement. Please check with your principal to see if your school has a list of emergency substitute teachers.
Thanks to the Human Resources Department for their assistance in responding to this question.