Subsitute teacher shortage: Wichita area schools report hundreds of openings


WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – Finding substitute teachers is becoming increasingly more difficult in Wichita. There are not enough subs to fill in for the demand in Wichita and surrounding areas.

Stacie McKay, Wichita Public School’s manager of guest staff, said they are having to rely on the help of other staff to keep students learning in the classroom.

“We will hire as many as we can – a good rule of thumb is we like to have three times as many on hand as we can deploy as an average absence day,” McKay said.

Wichita Public Schools said typically they like to have about 1,400 substitute teachers on call, but right now they are down to only 600. It’s a decrease in extra help that is impacting some teachers.

“It is really difficult to know what the solution is,” said Shannon Edwards, a high school English teacher with the Maize School District.

Edwards is also a member of the Maize School board. She said right now Maize Schools have about one-third of the subs they need. “We have to legally have someone in the room so that really means that teachers have to give up their planning and their grade time,” said Edwards.

At Wichita State, the university has been working to help education students receive an emergency sub-license to help with the demand. It requires students to have at least 60 credit hours and limits the total time with students.

“There is a limitation with the emergency sub license you can not walk into a classroom a teach everyday,” said Ashlie Jack, the Wichita interim associate dean for the college of applied sciences.

Edwards said every qualified sub does help. “There are so many excellent teaching colleges in our area that can supply our future educators and get them some classroom experience,” she said.

You don’t have to have an education degree to become a substitute teacher. If you’re interested in learning more, contact your local school district.

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