MAURICEVILLE, Texas — Some Southeast Texas school districts have begun offering higher pay as an incentive to attract substitutes amid a pandemic-related teacher shortage.
The global pandemic has heightened the need for schools across the nation to find substitute teachers. The high demand stems from teachers testing positive for COVID-19 and being temporarily put out of classrooms.
Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District is one district of many that has been struggling to find substitutes.
“LCM has experienced the same teacher shortage and substitute shortage that many other districts are facing right now,” Stacy Brister, LCMCISD superintendent, said. “It has created unique problems for schools in that we want to keep our kids safe, but we also know that we need to continue with instruction.”
Many employees are stepping up to help while the district experiences the coronavirus-related staff shortages.
“If we have a situation, and we do have these on occasion, where we have so many unfilled positions, then we are pulling from different areas to cover those classes within the campus or the district,” Brister said.
Brister stepped in to drive kids to and from school due to a shortage of school bus drivers.
More on: How to apply to substitute at BISD
“I've driven some kids to get them to school, and our central office has stepped up and said, 'Hey, we will, if you're on a new route, because we're having to pull a driver from one route to another, we'll be your bus monitor until you can learn this route,’” Brister said.
District officials have begun coming up with creative ways to attract and prepare qualified substitute teachers.
LCMCISD previously offered a class twice a year to train substitute teachers. The class is now being offered once a month in an effort to increase the number of substitutes.
The superintendent said she is constantly evaluating the district’s pay scale for teachers and substitutes in order to stay competitive and attract new hires. The district has also increased how often they hire substitutes.
“We're not waiting,” Brister said. “You can't wait. You can't wait 'til [sic] December. We need people as quickly as we can, as long as they fit the criteria or meet the criteria that we're still requiring.”
LCMCISD officials said the time for qualified applicants to apply is now.
“Come work for us. Come work for us. Come substitute for us. Come drive a bus for us,” Brister said.
Officials with Beaumont ISD are also offering higher pay as an incentives to get more substitutes.
Based on an educator’s level of education ,BISD is paying substitutes between $90 and $95 a day. After 10 days of subbing, a $25 per day bonus is added.