Some Kansas school districts say they are seeing a substitute teacher shortage

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Schools across Kansas are struggling to fill positions. It’s getting so bad there are more than 30 students in some classes.

Four school districts across Kansas said they are struggling to fill substitute teacher positions every day. Some of them say it’s hurting learning, and they are trying to find solutions.

“We need to begin to think differently about that because we can’t lean heavily in there if we know that is going to continue to be a problem,” said Dr. Alicia Thompson, Wichita Public Schools superintendent.

Thompson said in the last two weeks, 30% of their staff openings were not filled. So the staff has to continue to be creative. Teachers are filling in for other classes during their planning periods.

“Which means that they are not going to be able to necessarily prepare or do some of the gradings that is necessary to keep up with their job,” said Brent Lewis, United Teachers of Wichita president.

The spokesperson for Wichita Public Schools said an interview fair for guest teaching and guest para will be held on Thursday, Oct. 14, and for food service aides will be on Friday, Sept. 17, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alvin Morris Administrative Center. If you would like to apply to a substitute or other staff position at Wichita Public Schools, you can click here. Guest teachers can now start out earning $119 -$161 a day.

The school board for Derby district will consider raising the rate per day for subs after working 40 days for their school district. That incentive will be voted on by Sept. 27.

“The idea is they would hopefully want to sub in our district to get more days built up, and then once they reach that higher rate of pay, continues choosing us,” said Becky Moeder, Derby Public Schools assistant superintendent.

Click here if you would like to apply to be a substitute teacher for the Derby school district.

Haysville Public Schools has hired 16 subs to work full-time for the district and fill in for teachers, but even then, the assistant superintendent said that only 55-85% of their opens are filled on any given day.

“We are trying to keep our support staff and our instructional staff in place so we can keep our doors open for kids,” said Dr. Michael Clagg, Haysville Public Schools assistant superintendent.

If you would like to apply to some of the openings for the Haysville school district, click here.

In Great Bend, the assistant superintendent said each day they have about five to 10 staff openings that are not able to be filled, so the district is increasing pay for subs.

“I was hoping that actually that increasing the daily sub rate would bring us some more subs. I’m not sure it has done much to increase the people who are subbing for us, though,” said Bob Popp, Great Bend Public Schools assistant superintendent.

If you would like to apply to some of the Great Bend school district openings, click here.

Several superintendents said they hope when the pandemic ends and less staff has to quarantine, the substitute teacher shortage will be less of a problem for their schools.

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