SV board OKs raises for substitutes

November 16, 2021 Cranberry Local News

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Substitutes of all sorts will receive pay increases in Seneca Valley School District after the school board on Monday approved raises.

Substitute teachers, nurses, paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians and cafeteria workers all will receive raises in their daily or hourly rates, ranging from 75 cents an hour to $25 a day, and the district will subsidize for some the cost of receiving emergency certification from the state, as Seneca Valley works to attract more substitutes.

Under the new policy passed Monday, substitute teachers will receive $125 per day, an increase from the $100-per-day rate. Those who are retired Seneca Valley teachers will also see an uptick in pay, from $125 to $150 per day.

The district additionally will pay the $75 fee to the state education department for emergency permitting and substitute training, the former of which is good for one year.

Superintendent Tracy Vitale said this, along with the other increases, is part of the district's attempts to find additional substitutes.

“We do need more subs, and that's why we're going in this direction,” Vitale said. “The money that's involved here will be taken from our ESSER funds, which are federal funds, and we have allocated a maximum of $150,000 for recruitment incentives and the increase in sub rates.”

Seneca Valley, according to Vitale, is not experiencing shortages to the same degree as some other districts, but that doesn't mean the district is back to the status quo.

“One of our No. 1 problems is that teachers are covering other teachers' classrooms because we don't have enough subs to fill the vacancies,” she added.

In addition to teachers, substitute school nurses will see $25 per day increases in their pay rates; substitute paraprofessionals and secretaries will receive $13.50 per hour, up from the previous $11; substitute custodians will receive a $2 per hour raise to $17 per hour; and cafeteria workers will receive a 25-cent raise, to $13.75 per hour.

Also, the district is giving stipends to day-to-day substitutes who recruit new substitutes who serve in any capacity. Sub teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians and cafeteria workers who recruit any substitute will receive a $200 stipend after the recruit subs at least 20 days in the district.

The incentive is limited to five referrals, or a maximum of $1,000.

Vitale said this not only will help the district recruit new subs, but will also help the mental health of current teachers and staff, whether full or part time.

“I am most concerned about teacher burnout and staff burnout,” she said. “It's only November and our teachers and our staff feel as though it's May. So do our kids, as a matter of fact.”

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Alex J. Weidenhof

Alex J. Weidenhof