The COVID-19 pandemic stretched schools to the max. One big problem involves finding enough substitutes when the virus strikes.
WAAY 31 learned how Huntsville City Schools is putting in the big bucks to make sure the system maintains an adequate pool of substitutes.
Huntsville school leaders are working to show appreciation to the men and women who stepped up during the pandemic to go into classrooms when full-time teachers had to step down. That's why the system will continue to pay substitutes $140 a day until at least Mar. 31.
The $140 a day salary is nearly double what the system paid substitutes before the pandemic hit.
“We recognize the value and impact that substitute teachers have," said a spokesman for Huntsville City Schools, Craig Williams. "We’ve always recognized that value, but we’ve especially noted that during a year of COVID-19, which has required a lot of change, adaptability and flexibility.”
Williams said the daily pay raise encourages more substitute teachers to work for the district.
“We’ve seen a lot of positive feedback through that," he said. "We’ve seen a lot of positive reaction to that, and ultimately, we’ve seen our number of substitute teachers in our sub pool increase.”
The district now has more than 300 substitutes, where they previously had around 200 before the pay raise.
Three hundred substitutes may seem like a large number, but Williams said the more the merrier.
“No matter the number of subs we have, we can never have too many. So, anybody interested in becoming a substitute teacher, the demand is there, our needs are high, we absolutely encourage them to do so," said Williams.
He said one of the best aspects of becoming a substitute is getting to make your own schedule.
For more information on becoming a substitute for Huntsville City Schools, click HERE.