The East Greenwich School Committee approved pay raises for substitute teachers at their virtual meeting Tuesday, from $85 to $100 a day for certified teachers, and $75 to $85 for substitutes with a bachelor’s degree but no teaching certificate. Long-term subs will now get $145 a day, up from $135.
The move was meant to make the district more competitive – if not the top payer around at least in the middle of the pack.
But that same night, just over the border, the Warwick School Committee approved increases to $225 a day (you are reading that right) for certified teachers and $150 a day for those with just a bachelor’s degree. Those rates increase by $25 a day after a substitute has completed 10 days in the district.
Warwick’s rate was already higher than EG’s – they’d increased it in July to $125 a day, thinking that would be high enough to attract candidates. But then they found they would hire substitutes and lose them to other districts, according to Warwick Human Resources Director Kim Ruggieri. So, the higher rates, which were approved Tuesday unanimously.
Ruggieri mentioned Warwick had applied for a grant through the state Dept. of Education (RIDE), which EGSD did as well. No guarantees there but districts should find out next week what if anything they are getting.
Gov. Gina Raimondo acknowledged the extreme need for substitutes in the state now that school in most municipalities is back in session at her weekly COVID-19 press conference Wednesday.
“Districts need more substitute teachers, particularly those that can support distance learning,” she said, in an appeal to retired teachers. “Please consider coming back. Please consider being a substitute. We need your help.”
And she asked those who have never taught before but thought they might be good at it to consider signing up. The state is offering a free program to train substitute teachers with the Highlander Institute. Candidates who successfully complete the training course with Highlander, will be included on a hiring list.
“If you’re interested in being a substitute teacher this year, you can go to www.back2schoolri.com for information on these opportunities,” she said.
As for East Greenwich, Supt. Alexis Meyer stood by the district’s compensation for substitutes and said the district was holding its own so far in terms of substitutes.
“The district substitute compensation is consistent with many other districts in R.I,” she said. “Our substitutes are greatly valued and are essential to our teaching and learning work.”