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8 In-Depth

Monday, March 20, 2017 9


NO SUBSTITUTIONS Statewide substitute teacher shortage affects D99
Illinois faces substitute teacher shortages Abbe Murphy I Editor-in-Chief
amur1548@csd99.org
man resources Peter Theis, the increase in substi-
tute teachers loads from six periods to seven that
occurred last year resulted in a daily pay increase
For a substitute with no teaching experience, per
period wages at schools in the West Suburban Silver
conference range from to $15 to $21. District 99 has

W
alking into his English class fifth period, from $96 to $105 for substitutes with no district 99 the lowest per period rate for unexperienced substi-
junior Brian Kosek was greeted by what teaching experience. The pay for retired district 99 tutes of $15 per period, with the conference average
had become the norm for the last two teachers increased from $104 to $105. The pay for re- at around $18 per period.
In a given week, how many absenc- weeks: another substitute teacher. While his English
teacher Lori Vanek was out for two weeks, the class
tired teachers subbing in their former teaching area
remained at $125.
Although District 99 is able to fill classrooms not
covered by external substitutes, many schools in Il-
es, on average, are there for licensed was taught by a different substitute almost every day.
It was strange and hard to stay on task due to a
Theis came to the decision to increase the number
of periods for substitutes after meeting with other
linois are struggling to make this happen. According
to a press release from the Illinois Association of Re-
teaching positions? different sub every day giving us instructions. Not
many people got work done because the instructions
human resources officers at a monthly Northwest
Personnel Administrators meeting.
gional Superintendents, 16 percent of absences are
not covered by substitute teachers each week. This
given to us were vague and contradictory to what had The idea being that daily subs are not preparing is even more of an issue in southern Illinois, where
been told to us, Kosek said. It was also very hard [to] lessons or grading student work and thus did not 26 percent of absences are not covered by substitute
understand the directions. Everyone was behind due need that extra period. A quick, informal show of teachers. When classrooms cannot be covered by
to lack in structure. hands [at the meeting] revealed that close to half the substitutes, schools often have to resort to using in-
Due to challenges finding substitute teachers, districts were doing this or preparing to implement ternal substitutes or combining classes.
some classrooms in the district are filled with inter- a similar plan. I decided to follow this plan starting "Now that we know this is a significant problem
nal substitutes, who are regular teachers using their with the 2015-16 school year, and in a nod to the ex- in our schools, we need to work to make it easier for
free periods to substitute for other teachers. Addi- tra work that would be involved, raised the daily sub qualified people to become substitute teachers, es-
tionally, an increase last year in the number of peri- rate from $96 per day to $105 per day, Theis said. pecially in shortage areas downstate, and we need
ods substitute teachers in District 99 are required to Despite this increase in pay for external substi- to work comprehensively to draw more young peo-
cover has led to more chaotic schedules, with a single tutes, internal ones are still needed frequently. En- ple into the demanding yet rewarding profession of
substitute sometimes managing the classes of multi- glish teacher Matthew Greaney, who had a planning teaching and mentoring our next generation, IARSS
ple absent teachers. period first hour last year, recalls being asked fre- president Jeff Vose said in the press release.
Despite the per-period wages for internal substi- quently to substitute for other teachers during his off According to Vose, recent legislation has worked to
tutes being significantly higher than that of regular period. try and combat the substitute shortage by making it
substitute teachers, for the 2015-16 school year, Id say day-by-day there is a pretty constant flow easier to become a substitute.
District 99 spent significantly less on internal substi- of internal subbing, Greaney said. It is almost rela- We had been working with the State Board of Ed-
tutes than on external ones: $125,373.42 on external tive to the periods that you have free. When I had a ucation, legislators, stakeholder groups, principals
substitutes and $43,211.01 on internal substitutes first hour plan [period], I was getting asked to do it associations, teacher unions and school administra-
for DGN. all the time. In most cases there are lots of people that tor associations to get legislation changed to stream-
Retired 30-year math and CTE teacher Chuck are willing to take them, so I just let them go. line the process to make it less difficult to become a
Hlavaty sees the recent district requirement that sub- For a single period, a teacher internally subbing substitute and to become a teacher. Senate bill 2912
stitutes teach seven periods instead of six as a loss for earns $35.11, while outside substitute teachers make was passed earlier this year. Vose said.
substitutes, especially retired DGN teachers looking either $15 or $17.85, per class period, depending on Due to important information being received close
to teach lessons in their former subject area. whether they are a retired district employee. When to our publication date, the Omega was unable to con-
[The loss of a planning period] has been the big- subbing for a full day, which is seven periods, a reg- fidently include all information in this article at this
gest detriment, the biggest negative, in subbing, ular substitute earns $105 per day and a retired dis- time. For updates on this story, please check www.
Quality of this year's substitute Hlavaty said. As a diligent teacher, I would read the
book, read the assignment myself, work out the prob-
trict 99 teacher earns $125.
But according to Hlavaty, the biggest problem is
dgnomega.org.

applicants compared to prior lems, and that takes prep time. They have taken away
all prep time. So you have no time to prep to make
not the lack of a pay increase, but the loss of a plan-
ning period, which makes it harder for substitute Per-period wages for WSC silver
a teaching presentation with confidence to the class.
years:
teachers to actually teach.
Theyve turned subbing from an opportunity for an The retired teachers who worked in the district Downers Grove North: $15 per-period

Have you noticed experienced teacher to present a lesson and actual-


ly teach the students to babysitting. Now, you dont
take it seriously, and I think it is disrespectful to run
them around like chickens just to fill a spot. Instead
Oak Park River Forest: $15.7 per-period
Glenbard West: $18 per-period
fewer qualified candi-
have time to prepare, because instead of preparing of saving a penny, [the district is] spending more in
for five classes [and a supervisory period], you no the long run because they are defeating the purpose Lyons Township: $18 per-period
longer have a prep period to do that and youre in of the students getting a good lesson out of it. What
dates applying for
Hinsdale Central: $19 per-period
two, three different departments just running around is more important? Saving a few dollars or getting a
filling space. skilled person to do a good job in the classroom to the Proviso West: $20.83 per-period

substitute positions?
According to assistant superintendent for hu- benefit of the students? Hlavaty asked.

What is the number of educators in DuPage who are not properly Illinois
licensed or endorsed, according to each subject?

*All stats are based off of a 2017 survey from the Illinois Association of
Regional Superintendents of Schools (IARSS)
Graphics by Jasmine Abdallah and Sophia Di Iorio