Substitute teachers deserve better pay


To the Editor:

I was happy to read in the Nov. 25 Sylva Herald on page 6A that teachers will be getting a Retention Incentive bonus. They deserve it! The article listed all the positions where the school system is shorthanded and the need for more staff to fill these positions. I noticed that, as much as the JCPS appreciates its substitute teachers, they were not included in the incentive program, in spite of Jake Buchanan’s statement that “the school system is always on the hunt for substitute teachers.”

There is a shortage of subs partly because of COVID, yes, but mainly because the pay is so poor. Why would a person sub for $10-12.50 an hour and have responsibility for students when one can get a comparable wage at a fast food place or Walmart and be student-free? Even 20 years of teaching experience will garner you only $103 for an eight-hour day. How about at least $15/hour? People need an incentive to sub, and raising the pay might help alleviate the shortage of substitute teachers.

Alan Goldin, Sylva