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Several school districts struggling to find substitute teachers

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Posted at 6:35 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 19:03:50-04

NORTON, Ohio — The competitive job market right now is impacting everyone, from restaurants to truck drivers, and even our students and educators.

"I really believe that during the pandemic, people who enjoy substitute work and are good at it got away from coming into the buildings,” said Dana Addis, superintendent of Norton City Schools. “When we did return last year I think many of those people did not find their way into the school buildings."

A shortage of substitute teachers is making things difficult for several local districts, including Norton City Schools. It's so tough that Summit and Portage county schools held a job fair this week to attract more talent.

“Almost on a daily basis during the school year we have multiple coverages occurring by teachers that are having their planning period, or even by our building principals who are moving from what they need to do to get a class covered," said Addis.

Parma City Schools is facing the same issue; Superintendent Charles Smialek said rooms fell to a 40% fill rate for substitute teachers.

“When you're talking about 40% fill rate, that means 60% of the time you’re doing some type of juggling to actually fill those positions,” said Smialek.

Parma Schools is planning a substitute teacher fair on Aug 21 and Smialek is hopeful his district can draw in more subs.

“All school districts are facing the same issues and we're all trying to be as proactive as possible,” said Smialek. “The labor pool is what it is and so there's definitely a lot of competition for folks across the board."

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