Substitute teacher shortage causing staffing headaches in Topeka schools

Local News

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TOPEKA (KSNT) – Schools in Topeka are struggling with a lack of substitute teachers. It’s a nationwide trend that is being felt in the Capital City.

Topeka Public Schools currently has a substitute teacher pool of more than 250. However, Director of Certified Personnel and Equity Beryl New said that is proving to be not enough.

“It can be a challenge,” New said. “If we don’t have a substitute who can come and take an assignment, then the principal may have to cover it. A teacher on their plan period may have to cover it.”

Substitute teachers are part-time positions. Many subs have other jobs and are not available every day of the week. New said some of the district’s most reliable subs are being used to cover full-time positions.

Currently, the district has long-term substitutes covering 20 full-time teaching positions. New said the district has struggled to find full-time teachers since college students were sent home at the beginning of the pandemic.

“They maybe got into the routine of completing their education online,” New said. “Without that pool of students that we would’ve had here in the midwest from our universities, we found ourselves lacking individuals that we could recruit and hire.”

Each of the four Topeka school districts has active job listings for substitute teachers. Topeka Public Schools is offering the highest pay at $130 per day. Seaman, Auburn-Washburn, and Shawnee Heights are all offering $100 per day. Check out the job listings below

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm