Substitute teacher compensation increased, fees reimbursable
Posted on 02/02/2021
Laura Barrett and Mikayla Hodge

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson approved last week a reimbursement extension for people interested in obtaining their substitute teaching certification during the public health emergency.

Graduates of high school have until Sunday, Feb. 28, to complete approximately 20 hours of online training as an alternative to the standard 60-college hour requirement to help combat a substitute shortage. Online training, application and background check fees are all reimbursable through the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.

“We’ve always had a sub shortage, but now it’s been addressed at the state level through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in order to help schools keep their doors open in the midst of the public health crisis,” commented Dr. Scott Dill, R-I superintendent. “In combination with this, on the local level, we increased our pay rate to help hire the individuals needed to continue providing the quality of education our students are accustomed to receiving in the Poplar Bluff School District."

During the December school board meeting, the Board of Education voted unanimously to raise guest teacher compensation from $70 to $90 per day, and $100 for retirees of the Poplar Bluff school system. Last month, 11 substitutes were hired as a result of the efforts made, and the district continues to seek individuals interested in serving in the classroom when faculty members are absent.

“We value all substitutes, of course, but when a regular teacher can’t be present, there is no replacement for the experience that a retired teacher from this system brings to the classroom,” Dill explained. “I think incentivizing teachers retired from our district leads to the best possible outcome for our kids.”

According to a DESE administrative memo from Assistant Education Commissioner Paul Katnik, those who paid the $175 online training fee from Nov. 5, 2020-Feb. 28, 2021 or the $50 application fee through March 21, 2021 will receive automatic reimbursements beginning at the end of next month. In addition, the R-I district will reimburse employees the cost associated with fingerprinting upon completion of 10 full days of subbing.

Poplar Bluff Schools will host a substitute training class as a requirement for non-retirees to be activated in the system from 4-8 p.m. March 8 and April 6.  To fill out a substitute application packet, please stop by the Administrative Building at 1110 N. Westwood Blvd.

To register for the alternative online training available through February, visit Frontline Education here. More information about state reimbursements and certification can be found on DESE’s substitute teachers webpage.


Cutline: Administrative Office Assistant Laura Barrett (left) reviews paperwork from substitute teaching applicant Mikayla Hodge on Friday, Jan. 29.

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