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Warren Township raises substitute teacher pay to $150 a day as demand grows

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Starting this week, Warren Township Schools is raising substitute teacher pay to $150 a day, according to Brian Simkins, the district’s chief human resource officer.

Simkins tells I-Team 8 the district is finding ways to incentivize more people to apply to become substitute as the need grows across the state.

“Now more than ever, it’s essential to have a reliable substitute teacher pool of folks that you can recruit and retain,” Simkins said. “We started out the school year, actually $90 a day, which was competitive [and] quickly moved to $100. And now of course, now we’re going to $150 a day.”

Warren Township Schools has a partnership with Kelly Education, a service that provides many districts in Indianapolis with substitute teachers. Kelly Education has seen an increase in need too.

“I would say that we’re probably looking at demand increases in the 30 to 50%,” Brad Beckner, a vice president of operations for Kelly, said. “Is there a teacher shortage? Or is there a shortage of opportunities that people that are able to teach are willing to accept?”

Beckner tells I-Team 8 the company has conversations with districts on how to become more attractive by doing things such as raising pay and limiting exposure to unsafe conditions in schools.

“Traditionally, substitute teachers would kind of go from building to building depending upon where the need was. And because of the pandemic, we really saw an opportunity to say, you know, what this building typically requires three or four subs on a daily basis, let’s just assign three or four individuals to that building,” he said. 

I-Team 8 reached out to more than 10 districts across Indiana, all of which reported growing demand for substitute teachers. A Washington Township Schools spokesperson says the district was in need of 60-80 substitute teachers a day pre-pandemic. Now, they say it’s more like 80 to 100.

According to the State Department of Education, 11,731 substitute licenses were issued last year. The year before, there was 11,421 issued. However, both years are low when compared to 2018, when over 12,000 licenses were approved.

“The door is wide open,” Simkins said. “For anybody who wants to take on substitute teaching in our district. We will welcome them with open arms.”

Simkins says Warren Township is also hoping to offer free lunches to substitute teachers in the near future.

Anyone interested in applying to be a substitute teacher can see the resources below: