School districts across Southern California, including Los Angeles County, are seeing a shortage of substitute teachers, causing several districts to boost how much they pay in an attempt to try to woo more professionals into the classroom.
California News Times reported that the boards of education in Long Beach and Torrance approved rate of increase for substitute teachers. The increase in Long Beach was set to begin Oct. 1, and will pay $192 per day, an increase from $165.
Co-founder and CEO of Swing Education, Mike Teng, told KNX 1070 that while there was a shortage before the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic appeared to make things worse.
"Kids below the age of 12 can’t be vaccinated yet and so anyone that has any sort of hesitation around being in a classroom with unvaccinated kids and students, that might be a hesitation," Teng said, drawing comparisons between school districts and the restaurant and hospitality industries, both of which have suffered economically under pandemic conditions.
Teng also pointed to a lack of subsidized childcare, keeping substitute teachers who may have children themselves out of work.
The Los Angeles Times reported last month that demand for substitute teachers in L.A. has remained high as well, with large numbers of full-time teachers leaving the profession in the wake of COVID-19 related burnout.
Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Shannon Haber said the city has 3,488 substitute teachers, and more than 280 candidates are currently participating in the pre-employment and onboarding process in the area.