Arizona Board of Education changes rules for substitute teachers

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 12:13 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Staffing shortages are changing the rules for another profession—substitute teaching. The Arizona Board of Education is taking action to prevent a classroom crisis.

“There’s nothing you can do about covid, I know subs who don’t want to wear a mask they don’t want to get a vaccine and then I know subs who are afraid to go in to our schools they don’t trust the mitigation efforts,” said Dolores de Vara, a TUSD Substitute Teacher.

De Vera has been a substitute teacher for Tucson unified school district for about 10 years. She says she gets calls—sometime multiple a day asking her to fill in for a teacher.

“Our teachers are stressed out right now they need to be able to take a day out of the classroom,” said de Vara.”

The problem is—there just isn’t enough substitutes to go around. In fact the need is so high that Marana Unified School District Superintendent Dan Streeter was in a 7th grade classroom today teaching math and science.

The Arizona board of education decided to make some changes. According to their new rule changes, they removed the 120 day limit on work at the same school instead, allowing subs to work as long as needed. The board will also allow emergency substitute teacher certificates for two years instead of just one.

“I don’t think either of those two are going to make that much of a difference,” said de Vara.

De vera says this about the 120 day limit...

“Truth be told I don’t think that was always enforced we have lots of subs who considered themselves building subs,” said de Vara.

As far as emergency certifications go, de vera says many school just started using them, meaning many wouldn’t be close to hitting the year expiration date.

So what does she think could make a difference?

“You raise the rates,” said de Vara.

In October, TUSD raised daily pay for subs to 145 dollars for their first 20 days everyday after that, they are paid 160 dollars. On Monday 354 TUSD teachers all across the district were out.

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