Especially in urban and extremely rural school districts, schools are only able to fill about 85% of their substitute teacher needs.
Clark Galloway is the President of EDUstaff, a Grand Rapids based company that works to supply schools with substitute teachers across the state. He said even five years ago substitute teaching positions were highly competitive because they were seen as a leg into full time teaching positions.
“Today it’s a direct reversal. 75% of all the substitute teachers in the classroom are non-certified with an average age 43 year old mother coming back to work simply to gain a paycheck.”
Galloway said part of the problem is declining interest in the field of teaching.
He says one solution he sees would be to lower the college credits required to substitute from 90 to 60 and allow more people to apply for substitute positions.