Wake County School Board votes to provide pay incentive to substitute teachers

COVID-19 and schools

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Wake County school board voted Tuesday to provide a pay incentive up to $425 to substitute teachers.

The vote comes as the district faces a shortage of about 200 substitutes per day.

Over a two-week span in December there was an average of 825 teacher absences reported daily with 356 staffers reassigned to cover those abscesses. Also, 509 substitute requests were submitted daily during that time, with 322 of those requests were filled.

The pay incentive allows for anywhere from $100 to $425 for substitute teachers depending on hours worked. 

Some think it could help increase staffing and fast. However, others wonder how the incentive will be perceived by other educators that don’t qualify.

“I’m just a little concerned about the message that sends to our employees in our schools that are already showing up every day,” said Karen Carter, of the Wake County School Board. 

In a survey, some substitutes said they would return to the classroom once they can get a vaccine, which the district says they are optimistic will be possible soon. 

School district leaders hope access to a vaccine, more pay and their new aggressive recruiting strategy will help get and keep teachers in the classroom.

The extra pay will continue throughout the rest of the school year.

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