Berkeley County, South Carolina – With the Omicron wave in place, the old problems with staffing shortage surfaced once again in South Carolina schools.
In an effort to attract more substitute teachers when needed, Berkeley County School District announced they are increasing substitute teachers pay.
The Berkeley County School Board has voted unanimously to allot $1.5 million federal funds for this purpose and the voting came after an hour-long meeting at district headquarters in Moncks Corner, Tuesday night.
“All of our schools are being affected by the need for substitute teachers because of a surge in the COVID numbers,” Dr. Karen Whitley, the district’s chief human resources officer, said.
The staffing shortage is not a recent problem, but it resurfaces with every Covid-19 wave. Last week, four schools announced they are switching to virtual learning due to high number of Covid-19 cases in teachers and students, but the major problem was staffing shortage since schools were unable to fill positions with substitute teachers.
After the voting, officials with the school district said that more than 70% of the teachers who called out on Tuesday were due to Covid-19.
“I, myself, have been out to schools,” Dr. Natasha Wright, the Director of Human Resources for Berkeley County Schools said. “It’s been an all hands on deck kind of thing. I know we’ve had several coordinators, several staff members in general from all different departments to go out and cover classes.”
The $1.5 million temporary project will be funded from the federal government Covid-19 relief funds and substitute teachers will have increased pay at least until May 31st.
According to the decision, substitute teachers will be now paid $200 per day, instead of $150 per day. Noncertified teaching assistants will get a bump in pay from $10 per hour to $15 per hour.
Below is a full list of the updated pay raises:
- Non-certified teaching assistant: $10 per hour to $15 per hour.
- Certified teaching assistant: $14 per hour to $15 per hour.
- Teacher with high school diploma: $80 per day to $130 per day.
- Teacher with 60 college credits: $100 per day to $150 per day.
- Certified teacher: $112 per day to $175 per day.
- Long-term non-certified teacher assistant: $12 per hour to $17 per hour.
- Long-term certified teacher assistant: Remains at $20 per hour (may be subject to change).
- Long-term teacher with high school diploma: $112 per day to $150 per day.
- Long-term teacher with 60 college credits: $112 per day to $175 per day.
- Long-term certified teacher (not tied to a vacancy): $150 per day to $200 per day.