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SAISD offering pay hike for substitutes to address shortage

San Antonio ISD is seeing a critical shortage of qualified substitute teachers.

SAN ANTONIO — A shortage of qualified substitute teachers is sweeping across the state.

San Antonio ISD is one of the districts seeing a critical need for substitutes as the number of people seeing teaching certifications in Texas is also plummeting.

That’s why San Antoni ISD leaders said they are “re-inventing our substitute teachers.”

The district is spring-boarding the efforts to lighten the load, and stress levels for full-time teachers.

“We don't want teachers to have to worry about significant losses while they're out, when they have to be out for their own personal reasons, because they're concerned that we don't have someone who can provide the good coverage,” said Toni Thompson, SAISD’s Associate Superintendent for Human Capital Management.

But, the problem is there’s not enough substitute teachers, leaving full-time teachers to pick up the slack and covering for the teachers who are out.

“We're having to get folks to pitch in and shift their schedules, and that just creates more stress that we're trying to eradicate,” said Thompson.

SAISD is launching a new program to recruit and hire qualified substitutes for the second semester of the school year. 

“We want folks who are willing, they have the interests, they have, the desire to support campuses and students, and to come in with the right training and support so that they can be confident and so that they can confidently serve the students,” said Thompson.

The big incentive to sign up—a major pay hike.

SAISD is offering up to $200 a day for certified teachers in critical subject areas like Special Education, Math, and Science. Non-certified teachers can make up to $135 a day, and non-degreed substitutes will earn $120 a day.

The district is also adding an additional bonus on those days, like Mondays and Fridays, that schools are most challenged with filling vacancies. 

Another innovative approach by the district is targeting the schools with the highest shortage of substitutes, and launching efforts focused on recruiting members of that community.

“We're reaching out to community members who would have hopefully a stronger connection with the campuses in the community and a comfort level coming in to support and serve the students on those campuses,” said Thompson.

Pay rates are higher for certified teachers that Thompson said are needed especially to fill long-term substitute positions, but across the board all qualified substitutes will earn a significant pay hike.

“It shows how much importance we place on their value and what they bring to the campus,” said Thompson.

Northside ISD and North East ISD also feeling the impact of the shortage. Both districts also offering increased pay rates for substitutes.

If you’d like to submit your application to substitute in San Antonio ISD, or other area school districts, see the links below.

San Antonio ISD

Northside ISD

North East ISD

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