FINDLAY, Ohio — School districts in northwest Ohio are struggling to find substitute teachers, and many districts are placing the blame on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an effort to ease the strain, the Ohio Department of Education was given the OK to loosen the requirements for subs.
"People are not willing to sub," Findlay City Schools Superintendent Troy Roth said. "It's not a glamorous job, it's not an extremely high paying job."
However, it is an important job and it's necessary in keeping kids in the classroom.
"Eventually, if the problem persists and we're at a point where a lot of teachers are out and we can't get the appropriate coverage, we would have to consider possibly closing a building or in the district and going remote for a period of time," Roth said.
The Ohio Department of Education was given approval to issue a one-year temporary non-bachelor's substitute teaching license for this school year. That means all you need to do is pass a background check and be in good moral standing. Any other requirements will come down to the individual school district.
"We are requiring a high school diploma," Roth said. "We are also going above that and requiring an interview with the Findlay City Administrator."
Roth that explained when district staff has to play the role of a substitute teacher, that takes them away from their regular duties.
"We're hoping to eliminate some of the pressure off our teachers who need to cover and give up their conference periods," he said. "And our principals so they can be the instructional leaders of their building and not substitute."
This isn't the first school year with relaxed requirements. Roth said when the district loosened them last year, he was able to bring on more than a dozen additional subs and he's hoping for the same thing this year.
"We did increase our sub pay to $105 a day; and it's a chance to give back to the community, the school system, the students and earn a little bit of an income," he said.
Leaders with Findlay City Schools plan on having a hiring night for substitute teachers sometime after Thanksgiving.