National sub shortage reaches George County


Carlie Bennett

Everett Warren subs for a class.

Carlie Bennett, Online Editor

   The nationwide substitute teacher shortage has reached George County High School and many say that COVID is to blame.

   After the pandemic began, the number of COVID cases began to rise and the number of substitute teachers that were available began to drop. Last year George County High School had roughly 112 teachers on the substitute teacher roster, and this year that number is down to about 60.  

   According to superintendent Wade Whitney, the exact reason for this shortage is unknown, but national issues such as employment shortages may be contributing to the rapid decline of substitute teachers.

   “ I think that the decreased number of substitute teachers in our school district is just kind of a microcosm of the country and it’s a microcosm of some of the national issues that we have,” Whitney said. “There are employment shortages nationwide in a lot of different industries, not just in the field of education”.   

   Due to the shortage of subs this year, many teachers throughout the high school are having to give up part of their planning blocks to sub for another class. School Registrar Kala Howard has been put in charge of organizing where these teachers need to go, and according to Howard, the number of needed teachers is always changing.

   “Some days it can be two or three, some days it can be up to 12 or 13 just depending on how many teachers are out and who catches the sub call that morning,” Howard said.

   While the nationwide issues may play a part in the shortage, some could argue that the salary for substitute teachers might be another reason for the recent decline. According to the 2021-2022 substitute handbook, a certified sub makes $78 per day and a sub that only has a high school diploma/GED makes $58 per day. However, in an effort to eliminate the shortage the school board has been discussing the possibility of increasing the salary for people who want to sub in the district.

   “One of the things that we are trying to do is we are beginning to have conversations about trying to bump the pay for those individuals who want to sub in our district and hopefully that will reward the ones who are currently subbing with us regularly and maybe have an impact on future subs moving forward,” Whitney said.