With school districts across Idaho reporting substitute teacher shortages, Governor Brad Little announced Friday new steps he is taking to expand the pool of substitute teachers so students can continue to learn in person.
Some school districts are facing a shortage of hundreds of substitute teachers daily, due primarily to the increased spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks.
Governor Little is putting $10 million toward new “Substitute Teacher Recruitment Grants” so school districts are better able to recruit and retain substitute teachers and other classroom support staff. School districts may use the funds to provide bonuses for substitute teachers on top of what substitutes already make.
Governor Little also announced he will provide State of Idaho executive branch agency employees a new benefit – paid time off to serve as a substitute teacher. That means state employees will not have to tap into their vacation or sick leave to serve their communities as a substitute teacher.
Interested individuals must meet all the school districts’ requirements to be hired as substitute teacher, and they must pass all screening processes to ensure the safety of school children. In addition to the new steps, Governor Little recently put $30 million to COVID-19 testing in schools to help minimize disease outbreaks and ensure in-person learning as much as possible. (Governor’s Office)