CLEVELAND — What was already tough is getting even tougher.
Educators tell News 5 there was a sub shortage before the coronavirus pandemic was ever on anyone’s radar.
“So the need is great,” said Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association.
The statewide teacher’s union represents nearly 120,000 teachers.
“I think there’s going to be a real challenge getting a lot of people who are traditionally chosen to serve as substitutes — people who are retired teachers or people in their second career,” DiMauro said. “A lot of people like that don’t want to be anywhere near schools because they’re concerned about their health, their safety.”
DiMauro said schools will have to get creative in recruiting from different pools of people to encourage them to come into the classroom — and they’ll have to get more competitive with pay and benefits.
Currently, most subs make barely above minimum wage and don’t have health insurance.
“This substitute shortage is one of many reasons why we need the federal government to act and provide additional resources so school districts can pay competitive wages to come in and provide those necessary supports,” DiMauro said.
And while many districts are starting the year virtually, rendering subs unnecessary, there are many schools that still need them.
The Renhill Group employs roughly 3,000 substitutes and contracts with many districts across Northeast Ohio.
And right now, they’re busy recruiting.
Their website shows not just substitute teacher positions open, but also ones like substitute custodian, food service, even principals.
In Ohio, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree for short-term situations.
In most cases, you need to be licensed for long-term assignments.
Renhill told News 5 they’re not just focusing on recruiting those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, but also new graduates looking to build their resumes and get experience. With that said, DiMauro wants to remind districts to maintain their strict safety guidelines and background checks.
“You want people going into schools not just for the money but also because, like the rest of us who chose this as our careers, they care about the success of students, and I know there's a lot of people out there who feel that way,” DiMauro said.
To view open positions through the Renhill Group, click here.
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