Substitutes deserve pay increases

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 21, 2008

The issue: County substitute teachers seek more pay.

Our position: If the Dallas County School District can afford the increase, the substitutes deserve it.

Substitute teaching is a thankless job. It is similar to being the stand-in wedding singer with only one song prepared.

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Children smell a substitute. They push the person, who doesn&8217;t know the rules for the most part, and who is there temporarily.

Most substitute teachers must follow a lesson plan for which they did not prepare. Many times, the sub is called at the last minute to take over a class.

Recently, substitutes in Dallas County said they want a raise. Currently, they are paid $40 per day.

The National Education Association report on substitute teacher pay in the nation shows that the state reimburses the school district about $35 per day. And, sadly, most substitutes in the state make from $37 to $50 per day, near the lowest amount in the nation.

That kind of pay doesn&8217;t lend itself to finding people willing and able to take over a classroom in lieu of the regular teacher.

When the issue was brought up this week at a Dallas County School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Fannie Major McKenzie said she would research what other systems are paying. We hope she looks outside the state, averages the pay made in this area with the ones that are higher in other states and find a nice medium.

After all, substitutes don&8217;t really have to take the job.