Lack of substitutes could spell more cancellations for schools

By WUVA 23 News Reporter Jacyn Abbott

Alabama’s public schools have spent the past two years struggling with in-class learning, and that’s not ending anytime soon. The reason? When teachers can’t come to work, there aren’t enough substitutes who can keep classrooms running.

At Tuscaloosa City Schools, officials recently canceled classes system-wide Jan. 21 and held a virtual learning day Jan. 24. In the days before and after, certain schools made last-minute swaps to virtual learning because there weren’t enough employees who could work.

“Currently, we are coming out of a bit of a surge from COVID, but a good bit of it is absences that happens on a regular day-to-day basis,” said TCS Superintendent Mike Daria.

Right now, Daria said, absences in the system are so high teachers are often handling more than one classroom. Some substitutes are even getting promoted.

“We have hired substitutes to be full-time teachers because there are alternate routes for certifications, and some individuals who have been subbing in the classrooms are eligible for full-time employment,” Daria said.

How much substitutes make per day varies between districts and between education levels. Tuscaloosa City Schools substitutes make $95 a day if they don’t have a college degree, and $155 with a college degree.

“It’s such a neat thing to just be in the ballroom with all these children,” said TCS Human Resources and Operations Executive Director Deron Cameron. “So take that opportunity to come in and know children, build relationships and then do a world of service for school systems, our teachers and our community.”

If you’re interested in substituting for TCS, you can click right here to apply.

Third-party staffing service Kelly Education, which works with TCS, offers benefits and incentives for employees including health insurance, training and flexible scheduling.

If you’re interested in substituting within another school system, you can visit their district’s website or call to find out more.
Categories: Local News