ARCADIA, Calif. — School districts across Southern California are in need of substitute teachers.
Arcadia Unified School District has been trying to recruit substitutes for all 11 of its schools. The district started the year with 167 substitute teachers and needs to hire about 30 more.
Chief Communications Officer Ryan Foran said other staff members have had to fill in.
“There were times when we would have to have an assistant principal or an administrator fill in in a classroom as a substitute teacher so that takes them away from their duties,” Foran said.
Substitute teacher Kelli Crutchfield stays booked and busy. Her October calendar is full, and she already has jobs booked in November.
She works for three different districts, and lately, there seem to be even more jobs.
“It does seem like it’s plentiful,” Crutchfield said.
The district raised the daily pay rate to $200 to compete with other districts and attract teachers. Foran said the district wants teachers to know they are valued.
“Our students are used to their regular teacher. They love them. But if they get sick or if they have an issue dealing with their family, it’s important that the students’ education remains seamless and they have someone who is really caring, smart and educated in there to take over and not miss a beat,” Foran said. “So substitutes play a really vital role.”
Arcadia Unified is one of the districts where Crutchfield works. She’ll be at their schools more often now.
“They weren’t my highest paying district until September and so now they are the preferred district to work in,” Crutchfield said.
Some California districts have said the shortage is so severe that they might need to close classrooms.
According to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, either a teaching credential or an emergency teaching permit is necessary to become a substitute. A bachelor’s degree is also typically needed and a basic skills test, along with a mandatory background test.