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Substitute teacher shortages cause headaches for rural districts

LAFAYETTE COUNTY (WKOW) — We hear about how difficult it can be for districts to fill teacher vacancies, but administrators also struggle to find substitute teachers when their staff needs time off or call in sick.

For the Argyle School District finding substitute teachers can be a 50-50 shot.

“I think for us it’s a shortage in numbers, there just isn’t that many around the area,” said Mike Beranek, Argyle’s Superintendent.

Beranek said the need for substitutes isn’t a new problem, it’s something they’ve been dealing with for years. One issue can be finding a sub who can work a specific grade level and with the need at elementary, middle, and high school it can be hard to find someone who is interested.

“I don’t think it’s changed a lot for us as far as numbers that are available, it’s the time of year when everyone else is looking for subs,” he said.

Beranek said other factors are at play, such as when the substitute pool makes themselves available to the entire region and not just their district. It also comes down to how much you pay for the job.

“You’re looking at compensation and how are we compensating our subs as opposed to local districts around here and how to stay competitive so we make sure that we get them.”


Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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