To abate the limited availability of substitute teachers, Loudoun County Public Schools will implement a loyalty program and offer 50% pay bumps on high-volume days.
During the Oct. 28 School Board meeting, Chief Human Resources Officer Lisa Boland said that an increased number of teachers absences this year has strained the substitute teacher program. And, according to Superintendent Scott Ziegler, while there are about 4,000 substitutes on the district’s roster, only about 500 are actively taking jobs.
The district conducted a survey among substitutes to determine why more weren’t participating.
“It isn’t the number of subs we have on record or available, it’s the number of jobs they’re picking up,” Boland said. “Unfortunately, the rate of pay is not the highest concern, there were a number of concerns and there isn’t any rhyme or reason to help identify. So, this is our first attempt to try to get our subs to pick up more jobs.”
The enhanced pay rate for high-volume days, which are days identified by the human resources department to likely experience a large amount of teacher absences, will be $169.12 per day for regular substitutes and $231 for long-term substitutes. The typical rate for regular substitutes is $112.75 per day and for long-term substitutes is $154. Regular substitutes take jobs day by day, whereas long-term subs take multiday assignments, such as covering a class while a teacher is on maternity leave.
Boland said that high volume days typically fall before or after a staff or student holiday. She said Human Resources and Talent Development staff uses historical data to determine the days when subs will be in the highest demand.
The loyalty program rate, an 18% pay increase at $133.37 per day, kicks in when a substitute teacher takes his or her 26th subbing job of the 2021-2022 school year. The loyalty program is available to any subbing position in any school.
The program begins Nov. 1 but will be implemented retroactively count substitute jobs performed earlier during the current school year.
Boland said that neither the new high-volume rate nor the loyalty program will impact the district’s budget; the current substitute budget will cover the costs, based on HRTD’s analysis.
The first high-volume day will be Nov. 19.