WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Low pay and a strong local economy are creating a shortage of substitute teachers in many Massachusetts school districts.

The Worcester Telegram reports that substitutes — even those with college degrees and teacher certifications — receive less than $100 per day to fill in for a full day in most Worcester-area communities.

The state’s current minimum wage for all workers is $12 per hour.

Officials say the low compensation and other opportunities presented by a strong job market are making it increasingly difficult for school districts to find substitute teachers.

Worcester Superintendent Maureen Binienda says she would like to increase the $70 daily rate for substitutes. But she says there are too many other budget priorities, including the hiring of more permanent classroom teachers, school psychologists and guidance counselors.

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Comments (2)
  1. Josie Albert says:

    It’s not just central Mass. schools. Most districts have been dealing with this for the last 5 years. The pay is at or just above minimum wage in most cities and towns.

  2. I became a substitute teacher in Clinton and the Nashoba systems last spring. Being with these kids is a genuine pleasure and joy. I have a deep enough education that I can actually teach many of the subjects, often being more knowledgeable in the subject areas than the regular classroom teacher.

    In my short time as a sub I have discovered that the schools desperately need us. Moreover, when in a classroom, a sub has every bit as much responsibility for the education, safety and welfare of students as the regular classroom teacher. That is something that this sub takes very seriously.

    With my education and life experience I know that I am worth more than the $85/day that the Nashoba district pays – and the Nashoba district is the highest paying in the area. I would be very willing to get a Massachusetts teaching license but I would want to see a compensation rate substantially higher that the current rate.

    It’s only a matter of fairness – something that our schools preach, and rightly so, when it comes to other social issues, but not when it comes to fair compensation for the persons who allow our schools to continue functioning when regular staff members are sick, on family leave or taking their personal days.

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