State superintendent Sherri Ybarra and members of her staff will return to the classroom this month — as substitute teachers.
Ybarra will substitute in the Mountain Home and Glenns Ferry school districts for four days in October, starting Thursday.
Certified teachers on Ybarra’s State Department of Education staff will substitute elsewhere in the region, the SDE said in a news release Tuesday.
The substitute teachers’ shortage has received statewide scrutiny in recent weeks.
In September, Gov. Brad Little set aside $10 million in federal coronavirus aid to help districts and charters hire substitutes or fill other job vacancies. Under Little’s plan, employees in state government’s executive branch, including the SDE, can use paid leave to substitute for up to 16 hours per pay period.
“With teachers out sick and a serious shortage of substitutes during the pandemic, Idaho districts and schools truly need this help,” said Ybarra, a former third-grade teacher, principal, vice principal and federal programs director who has served as state superintendent for seven years. “Plus, it is always wonderful to get back in the classroom – my natural habitat.”