Limestone leaders say low pay is behind substitute teacher shortage

Limestone leaders say low pay is behind substitute teacher shortage
(Source: WAFF)

ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - When Elkmont High School closed for two weeks recently, the coronavirus was only part of the reason. The other, according to members of the Limestone County Board of Education, was a lack of available substitutes to fill in.

During a meeting Tuesday, the board was blunt in discussing the problem, according to our news partners from the Athens News Courier.

“I personally feel that you can go to work at McDonald’s for $10 an hour in most places,” board member Earl Glaze said. “... I think anybody that’s worth anything is worth $10 an hour.” Currently, substitute employees are paid $55 per day if they are non-certified and $70 per day for certified. In a 7.5-hour workday, that averages out to $7.33 an hour for non-certified and $9.33 for certified — whether they’re working in a lunchroom, a classroom, the office or somewhere else in the school.

Chairman Bret McGill agreed, saying bus drivers got a pay raise last year due to similar staffing problems.

McGill advocated for a flat ray rate across the district. Board members offered various ideas on how much to pay, but no vote was taken. They say the idea could appear on the September meeting agenda.

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