- A school district in Georgia more than doubled pay for substitute teachers, reports say.
- They’re now earning $US189 ($AU261) a day.
- Teachers have been leaving the profession because of burnout and fears of catching the coronavirus.
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A school district in metro Atlanta has hiked substitute teachers’ pay from $US89 ($AU123) a day to $US189 ($AU261) a day.
Cobb County School District, which has 112 schools, raised wages starting September 6, as schools across the US struggle to find staff.
The district also raised supply teacher pay from $US112 ($AU155) a day to $US212 ($AU293) a day.
Substitute and supply teachers are in particularly high demand in some areas to cover for teachers who are isolating after being exposed to the coronavirus.
The district said it was using funding from CARES, a federal coronavirus relief fund, to finance the raises. The higher rates of pay are set to expire in May.
Some teachers have left the profession because of burnout and fears of catching the coronavirus. More than half of the 484 K-12 employees surveyed by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence in February said that “the risks I’m taking working during the COVID-19 pandemic are not on par with my compensation.”
Schools have been dangling massive bonuses to retain staff, with one district in South Carolina giving teachers $US2,500 ($AU3,452) bonuses. Georgia offered $US1,000 ($AU1,381) to all K-12 public school-level staff including teachers, nurses, and admin staff in March.
Other school districts across Georgia are raising pay for substitute teachers, too.
Fulton County Schools District, for example, has raised daily pay for substitute teachers from $US100 ($AU138) to $US175 ($AU242), and from $US120 ($AU166) to $US200 ($AU276) for those in long-term substitute jobs. “The incentive plan aims to counter the shortage caused by the pandemic,” the district says on its website.
Schools are struggling to find bus drivers, too.
Georgia’s Cobb County School District is offering $US1,200 ($AU1,657) retention bonuses to all bus drivers and monitors. The governor of Massachusetts activated 250 National Guard members to drive school buses, and one high school in Boston was even forced to hire a party bus with a stripper pole to take pupils on a field trip.