Many area schools are scrambling to stack the substitute teacher pool ahead of the new school year in a few short weeks.
Amherst Central Schools is holding a substitute recruitment fair August 21st. Starpoint schools held one last week.
Sweet Home is hoping a pay hike will entice applicants. It increased its rate of pay for substitute teachers for the 2018-2019 school year.
Last year, substitutes made $90 per day. This year, it developed a tiered rate of pay:
$100 / day (up to 20 days of work at Sweet Home)
$110 / day (20 days of work - 50 days of work at Sweet Home)
$120 / day (50 + days of work at Sweet Home)
According to district officials, the goal is to attract more sub teachers to Sweet Home and incentivize them to work at the district more often. “In all, the shortage of substitutes has always been difficult to deal with. We work to get coverage in those instances by pulling teachers from free periods to cover classes and moving teacher aides around to help. It really can be a logistical nightmare,” explained district spokesman, Don Feldmann.
Williamsville increased the daily sub pay from $80 to $100 (top pay is $130/day, depending on the length of the assignment) in 2015. The district also added regular building subs to the elementary schools, which means a sub is assigned to a particular school every day to fill in where needed. If no sub is needed at the assigned elementary school on a given day, he/she may be re-assigned to another elementary school on that day. A new provision negotiated in the teachers’ contract allows for a teacher to be compensated for subbing if they do so during their free periods.
The KEN-TON School District also mitigated the challenge by establishing a long-term substitute teacher position in each of its school buildings. A spokesman told 7 Eyewitness News it helps with consistency and flexibility in the classroom.
Substitute teachers are required to be teacher certified in NYS.