As legislators continue to attack school employees’ wages, benefits and pensions, the result isn’t just a shortage of full-time teachers. School districts are struggling to find substitute teachers — a trend that could reach crisis proportions if not addressed quickly.
The shortage of substitutes has already reached an acute level in many districts — which explains the aggressive marketing campaign by companies that provide districts with subs. One company has even purchased 40 billboards around the state announcing “SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS NEEDED.”
Increasingly, districts simply cannot fill all their classrooms with teachers on a daily basis. They must resort to pulling principals out of their offices and taking away the preparation period of other teachers to fill the voids. A simple flu bug among the staff could cripple a building and threaten the education of students.