Substitute teachers’ pay in the Lodi School District is going up.

The school board voted unanimously on Monday, Oct. 11, to increase it from $120 per day to $130.

At the board meeting, District Administrator Vince Breunig said finding substitute teachers is “one of the things we’re really struggling with.”

Breunig said the problem has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s a problem for school districts around the state, according to Breunig. He said it’s gotten to the point where building principals are having to sub instead.

“It’s a problem when they’re not working with teachers, and their working with students in classrooms,” said Breunig.

Approval has been given for the district to hire four full-time substitute teachers. Breunig said two have been hired so far.

“It’s a rare day when I don’t get an email that we’re short a teacher,” said Breunig.

The $10 raise is projected to result in an increase of $10,000 to $11,000 in the budget. The district’s facility and finance committee had already unanimously approved the measure.

A spreadsheet that District Business Manager Brent Richter shared with the committee illustrated comparable substitute teacher pay rates and an analysis from 2018-19 that showed the number of teacher sub days Lodi needs.

Also, the board approved a measure to give teaching staff more pay to perform internal subbing duties.

In a memo to the school board, Richter wrote, “We typically utilize teachers for subbing when either we cannot find a sub for the day or there is a need of a half-day or less. Our teachers are asked to sub during their prep time, which in turn, takes away from their ability to prepare for their own classes.”

Richter also wrote that the pandemic and labor shortages have led to the need for teachers to do more internal subbing.

“This has created situations of stress and greater burnout as well as a greater potential of exposure to other students (cohorts) increasing risk for illness, such as the flu or COVID,” continued Richter.

The board voted to increase the internal subbing amount from $20 per hour to $23 per hour.

Richter also wrote, “This will align our internal teaching rate to the current curriculum rate. The annual cost to the district is approximately $4,750. The projected increase to budget will be approximately $715.”

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