Highland News Leader

Highland School District raises pay rates to draw in more substitute teachers

Highland School District has raised the pay of its substitute teachers in an attempt to attract more subs to the district, said Superintendent Mike Sutton.

During the Highland School Board meeting on Aug. 27, Sutton relayed that he has considered proposing raising the rate increase for some time. He said that for the last 12 to 15 months it has almost been impossible for the district to get substitute teachers.

“It is to the point where it is impacting our ability for our teachers to go to professional development because we can’t afford them to go out of the district,” Sutton said.

However, this is something that is happening across the state.

In January, a survey of over 500 superintendents in Illinois found that most of their districts have experienced substitute teacher shortages.

“This is as bad as it ever has been,” Sutton said.

The district has not raised it’s sub rates since the 2006-2007 school year, when the rate was raised from $92 to $94 per day.

“It’s obvious at this point that we are going to have to take some action in order to try to attract some folks to come and sub for us,” Sutton said.

Sutton proposed that the board increase the rate from $94 to $100 per day. In addition, he also recommended a tiered system which pays teacher licensed subs $110 per day, which is something he observed from other school districts.

Sutton said that the board should consider the rate change for its meeting at the end of September. However, a special board meeting was called on Sept. 4 and the new rates were approved.

In addition to the new sub rates, the pay rate for substitute school nurses was also raised during the special meeting. The new rate for nurse subs is $120 per day.

The rate for football officials was also increased from $65 to $75 per game.

There was also a student expulsion.

A new sub program

Recent legislation from the Illinois State Board of Education allows for a temporary program for short-term substitute teaching licenses.

House Bill 5627 allows for those with an associates degree or 60 credits from a regionally-accredited university to apply for a short-term substitute teaching licenses

The new license is valid for grades PK-12, and the refundable application fee is $25. These licensees cannot teach more than five consecutive days per license, and must complete training provided by the school board before teaching.

The program will end on July 1, 2023, at which time all short-term substitute licenses will also expire.

Outside of the program, anyone with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is eligible for a license. Those with a professional educator license or educator license with stipulation are not required to have a substitute teaching license.

For more information on educator license requirements visit the ISBE website.

Those looking for how to become a substitute teacher in Madison County can visit the ROE 41 website for an explanation of the substitute process.

Anyone who is interested in substitute teaching in the Highland School District should contact Dena Henricks at the administration center.