Twin Falls boosts pay for substitute teachers

The Twin Falls School District is dealing with an unusually high demand for substitute teachers — and the district is having trouble finding people who are willing to say yes when they’re asked to fill in.

So last week, the School Board decided to up the ante.

Trustees boosted pay for substitute teachers. Certified teachers and teachers with bachelor’s degrees will get $95 a day, up from $75 and $65 a day, respectively. Teachers with an associate’s degree or 48 college credits will get $80 a day, up from $60.

The substitute teacher shortage is occurring across the board, and stems from several causes. More full-time teachers are taking advantage of professional development opportunities, and illnesses are up so far this year, said Shannon Swafford, the district’s human resources director.

The district wants full-time teachers to feel like they can get the training they need, and stay home if they are sick, she said. And the district hopes the increased pay will help grow the substitute teacher applicant pool.

Swafford said the pay increase could cost the district $70,000 for the remainder of the school year, but she emphasized this is a rough estimate.

Twin Falls isn’t the only school district wrestling to find substitute teachers. Earlier this month, the Coeur d’Alene School District said it was struggling to find substitute teachers and fills several full-time positions.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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