Jordan School District starts incentive pay program to combat substitute shortage

Local News

WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4) – A lack of substitute educators is prompting one Utah school district to implement an incentive pay program.

Nationwide, schools are facing a shortage of educators. In California, one school district sent flyers home in students’ lunchboxes saying it’s hiring while elsewhere, principals are serving as crossing guards, teachers are being offered signing bonuses, and some schools are moving back to online learning.

The stress of teaching in the COVID-19 era has triggered a spike in retirements and resignations nationwide, the Associated Press reports. Schools also need to hire staffers like tutors and special aides to make up for learning losses and more teachers to run the online schools for those not ready to return.

The Jordan School District in Utah is among those facing challenges, namely the statewide shortage of substitute teachers. The Salt Lake County district says it is implementing a new “Temporary Substitute Teacher Incentive Pay Program.”

According to Jordan School District officials, the program will provide temporary incentive pay of up to $500 for substitute teachers who work a required number of days between October 25 and December 15 without canceling an already accepted substitute teaching job.

“We hope this program will relieve some of the impact on teachers by attracting new substitute teachers, incentivizing and increasing the availability of current substitutes, and reducing cancellations,” the district says in a Thursday release.

In Utah, there is no state-wide licensing of substitute teachers but requirements vary by the school district, according to Teach Utah. In general, you will need a high school diploma, completed application and associated fees, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation. The Jordan School District also conducts background checks. For more on the district’s substitute teaching policies, click here.

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