Ozark School District raises pay for substitute teachers

Published: Sep. 12, 2020 at 9:02 PM CDT
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OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - Ozark School District is increasing pay for substitute teachers to start at $100 a day.

According to the district, pay will then increase incrementally:

After working 25 days, pay increases to $105 a day.

After working 50 days, pay increases to $110 a day.

After working 75 days, pay increases to $115 a day.

Ozark schools retirees who substitute teach will receive $115 per day, no matter how many days they work.

Ozark school district’s assistant superintendent, Dr. Craig Carson, says this was an idea last year before the coronavirus pandemic began. Now, there are less subs statewide this year because of the pandemic, and the increase pay serves as an extra incentive for some.

“Many of them just for multiple reasons, including health reasons, have decided not to sub this year, and we completely respect that and understand that. By opening up our pay, that definitely rewards those who are working here," Carson says.

Julie Hunter taught in the Ozark School District for 16 years. For the last six years, she’s been retired but continued to sub in the district. She says she was a little nervous going into this school year.

“I have asthma," Hunter says. "I’m almost 60 years old. There was a concern. In fact, I got a call to start the school year for a teacher and I actually had a nightmare two nights before school started.”

With the pandemic comes some new ways of learning. Carson says it makes substitute teachers even more important.

“If a teacher goes on quarantine and they’re not sick and able to work from home, we’ve tried to even use our substitutes to facilitate the learning inside the classroom but to allow the teacher to be facilitating a full day of teaching from their home," Carson says.

Hunter says the pay increase is a great reward. But for her, she’s just continuing to do what she’s passionate about.

“I still love to be around people so I’m getting to know new people and I’ve learned so much going into different classrooms," Hunter says. "I’m still learning and I’m just not ready to give it up yet.”

The school district says it’s also taking advantage of the larger pool of potential employees since the state adjusted the requirements needed to become a sub.

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