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Substitute teachers in Mount Vernon school district see pay increase

FORTVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Some substitute teachers came back from fall break to a pay increase.

During the pandemic, schools have competed against fast food and retail organizations for employees. Kelly Education, a teacher staff company, said substitute teaching was never meant to be a low-paying job. They surveyed nearly 2,000 principals and statistics show nearly 56% of them said the teacher absentee rate is higher now than before the pandemic.

“We increased the daily rate by $20 a day. It’s now $105 plus a free lunch, and our regular, permanent substitutes got an almost $2-per-hour pay increase,” said the Mount Vernon superintendent, Jack Parker.

Stephanie Kramer is one of the substitute teachers who received the pay increase.

“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “If it gets more people in the door, more qualified people that really enjoy being around children, I think it’s great.”

It’s not just schools faced with a staffing shortage. Parker said they are competing with other job markets and they needed to increase the hourly wage.

“It’s a tough job. And that job is getting harder and harder each day,” he said. “For sure, I think the (coronavirus) pandemic has impacted our ability to bring people into our schools to serve all of our students in a temporary or permanent basis.”

Full-time teachers in the school district get their pay increased each year.

Trends show a continuation of a teacher shortage once the pandemic ends.

Kelly Education statistics showed 71% of school boards said they need more teachers within the next five years.