Purdy schools raise pay for subs

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Monett superintendent confirms small sub pool impacting scheduling

The Purdy school district is raising the pay for substitute teachers from $70 a day to $80 a day.

The availability of substitute teachers has become an issue in the area, one that even impacts the Monett school district.

Purdy Superintendent Steven Chancellor said the district had been paying one of the lowest rates in the area. He heard some substitutes had been called to work, only to say they preferred to wait to see if another district, presumably one that paid more, would call them first before committing for the day.

"Fortunately we have a hard core of substitutes," Chancellor said. "We've got to start growing our base. We're going to have some unforeseen consequences with the Affordable Healthcare kicking in."

The increase for Purdy substitutes will become effective on Jan. 2, 2016, to begin the second semester. Chancellor figured the rate change would have raised the $5,800 spent on substitutes last year to $6,300.

Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, said his district has a plentiful pool of substitutes available. Cassville pays $90 per day for its substitutes, and teachers who have retired from the district and are still certified earn $100 per day.

"We have had that $90 rate for the past 5-6 years," he said. "To stay on our substitute list, a sub has to work at least one day out of the year and let us know they want to remain active on the list."

Asbill said Cassville has had as many as 170 substitutes on its list, which has caused some overabundance issues in the past.

"When we had that many, we couldn't use them all, so some got frustrated," he said. "It all depends on availability and the grade level they sub for. There's less on the list now, but we also have additional requirements, like each of our subs has to complete the Smarter Adults, Safer Children safety and liability training, which is an online video they have to watch about children's safety."

Monett Superintendent Brad Hanson said Monett's rate of $85 a day has been at the top of the scale, avoiding some of the issues arising from competing for qualified substitutes. Nonetheless, he felt there were fewer substitutes available. Pierce City also pays $85 per day.

"We can get to the point where we don't have enough substitutes to cover all the situations, primarily in the spring, when we have field trips and other activities," Hanson said. "The state requirement that substitutes have 60 hours of college work sometimes causes some limitations.

"We deal with it on a year-to-year basis. We have not raised our rate in four or five years. We look at what other districts do and plan accordingly."

Exeter, Southwest, Wheaton and Verona each pay substitutes $80 a day.

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