AKRON, Ohio — Hiring is still burdening schools across Northeast Ohio, some districts have decided to pay more in efforts to fill holes in staffing but not all districts are on board.
Akron is no different than any other school with a need across the board
“We are a couple hundred down in some of the critical areas,” says Mark Williamson, the director of marketing communications for Akron Schools.
The most critical positions include substitute teachers. As of right now, they could hire 125 subs, 75 that are long-term and 50 day to day.
“People have called off for one reason or another. We are only able to fill 75% of those open spots in a given day, whereas two years ago it was about 95%,” said Williamson.
Which has led them to take new measures to give relief to those in the classroom.
“We've raised the pay for substitute teachers by about 30 % to try to attract more folks. It's tough, as everybody knows by now,” said Williamson.
They aren’t the only district in crisis mode, the Canton city school district has temporarily doubled its substitute teacher daily rate. Also, in Stark County subs can now earn $100 to $226 a day depending on their education. But one district that isn’t implementing this is Norton.
“So we have not thought about that we at one point raised it from where it was a few years ago, to be competitive with others,” said Dana Addis Superintendent of Norton schools.
The superintendent tells us they’re continuing to lean on each other to fill the void, while still looking to hire.
“So every day our principals and probably more important than the principals our secretaries are coming into work, really trying to find a way to cover classes during the day and it's happening to them every single day,” said Addis.
But for them, more pay isn’t the solution.
“Yeah, I think that there's some discrepancy between money being a motivating factor for that. People have tried to do that and it's not really been something that has brought more people in,” said Addis.
While in Akron they don’t have the time to wait, the need is too great.
So, they’ll do everything they can to fill the classroom.
“You can’t let up. You can't just say, I’m sorry, I can't do this anymore. This is our children. This is our future. And the last two years, especially for little children who is so critical in the first few years of education that they get the best attention and education possible,” said Williamson.
Akron schools tell News 5 the hike in pay will stay in place until the end of the school year then they will reevaluate.
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