Madison County Schools to hire instructional COVID-relief aides, increase substitute pay

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – The Madison County School board passed two measures to fight this year’s substitute teacher shortage. The district will be increasing substitute teacher pay and adding a temporary instructional aid position to each school campus.

Madison County typically has around 500 subtitutes to call but this year, there is about 350 on the list. And with more teachers and staff out than normal, school district officials knew they had to do something.

“Our fill rates are usually around the 92% rate, we’re down around the 70% rate,” says Personnel Director Kenneth Kubik.

To help fight the issue and give schools some relief, substitute teachers are getting a raise.

“The board approved today to take our substitute teacher pay from 65 dollars a day and bump it up to 75 a day. And our hourly substitutes which are our support employees from $7.50 an hour to $8.50 an hour,” says Kubik.

The school board also approved hiring one additional instructional aide for each school in the district. The aides will essentially serve as substitute teachers when needed.

“Instead of a substitute they are going to be an actual employee and so what this will do is put extra bodies in the classroom so when there is that immediate need we have a substitute or someone we can put in the classroom,” says Kubik.

The hired aides might be transferred between schools as needed but will stay within a feeder pattern.

“If someone is an itenerant covid relief instructional aide at New Hope High, New Hope Elementary School or Owens Cross Roads… they can be at any of those schools but they’re going to stay in that family,” says Kubik.

The substitute teacher pay increase is permanent. The additional aid positions will only be temporary and will be eliminated at the end of this school year in May.

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