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Substitute Teacher Shortage Affects Districts Statewide

Via audio-luci | Flickr Creative Commons

Nashua school officials are worried about a shortage of substitute teachers. The Union Leader reports officials say there are about 300 subs who are no longer working this school year.

But this is also a problem across the state, and low unemployment numbers have a lot to do with that.

"They've all picked up full-time jobs with benefit for the most part, and the draw is not there for the most part to come into schools," said Carl Ladd, the  executive director of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association. 

He says it’s also tough to get retired people to substitute teach. They have to follow new state guidelines on how many hours they can work in a school, once they’ve started collecting benefits.

The lack of subs, he says, “creates a real scheduling issue for high schools.”

“It's very, very difficult with a  shortage of substitutes to maintain a high quality program each and every day for all children,” Ladd said.

He added that schools have tried raising wages, including in Nashua, and some have even hired full-time subs. But, schools are still trying to figure out solutions to the shortage.

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.
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