Sub shortage impacting local school districts

D97 and D90 recruiting, considering options

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

By MARIA MAXHAM and MICHAEL ROMAIN

Staff Reporters

School districts in Illinois have been dealing with a substitute teacher shortage over the past few years. Oak Park's District 97 and River Forest's District 90 are no exception.

Gina Hermann, senior director of human resources for D97, said this has impacted their district significantly.

"Each day that a classroom does not have a certified educator present for instruction results in a disconnect in learning for students and a hardship on educators," said Hermann, noting that D97 has used a number of strategies to attract and retain substitute teachers, including advertising employment opportunities in external and internal publications and reaching out to local universities. They hosted a career fair in November 2019.

Additionally, in October 2018 the D97 Board of Education unanimously approved an increase in the daily rate of pay for people who hold credentials to substitute teach in the state of Illinois. The new rate of $110/day applies to people with the appropriate credentials who work as substitute teachers or substitute teaching assistants in D97 schools. Meanwhile, anyone who only possesses substitute teaching assistant credentials (i.e., an Illinois paraprofessional license) will continue to receive the rate of pay that the board approved in January 2018 ($45 for a half day or $90 for a full day).

Hermann added that the district is starting to see success through these recruitment efforts.

D90 in River Forest has been impacted by the substitute shortage as well. Pam Jenkins, human resources specialist for D90, said the district really began to notice the issue during the last school year. 

"Nobody was applying for the positions," said Jenkins. "We were posting ads more frequently with little results."

Although D90's recruitment efforts haven't panned out significantly so far, Jenkins said it's forced the schools to plan better. 

She added that the problem hits the district most severely when it comes to professional development for teachers on a school day and finding a large number of substitute teachers to cover a large number of teachers is extremely difficult. Jenkins said the district is looking into third-party vendors who can supply professionals for situations such as this.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and RiverForest.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Latest Comments