School districts preparing for substitute shortage in the state

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Many schools are focusing on how they can safely reopen this August.

But now, they’re facing another obstacle a shortage of substitute teachers.

“We were already behind the 8 ball with the number of substitute teachers we had in the system prior to this pandemic. Now districts are anticipating that they are going to need even more than they typically would. Because they are worried about their own staff who may be off sick themselves or taking care of family members.” Said Lezlie Grinage.

Lezlie Grinage is with EDUSTAFF, a company that provides substitute teachers for districts across the state.

Another reason for the shortage?

“Back in 2008 2009, the college of education across the state those colleges and universities were graduating a lot of students now you have half of that.” Said Lezlie Grinage.

“To be a substitute in the state of Michigan you only need to have 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university or community college and maybe they are a stay at home mom or dad..they are only looking for part-time work..those are our typical substitute.” Said Lezlie Grinage.

Grinage says, now there are safety concerns with COVID-19.

Now, they have to compete with companies like Uber, Shipt, or Postmates.

“You could just decide, I’m just going to drive Uber on Friday and Saturday night and maybe that is enough to provide you with an income they are looking for.” Said Lezlie Grinage.

EDUSTAFF has about 18,000 substitutes to cover the entire state, but it’s not enough.

“Even during this pandemic we have been hosting virtual workshops and we have onboarded 900 substitutes.” Said Lezlie Grinage.

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