Alabama Struggles To Address The Severe Shortage Of Substitute Teachers

The school year is about to start, and some schools may not have any qualified substitute teachers who could fill in.

The pandemic has made the situation far worse, and as a result, there is a lot of pressure on the school districts in Alabama to attempt to locate substitute teachers who can fill in for the regular teachers.

Amy is a teacher in a school district in North Alabama. She has said that she is thinking about leaving the profession because there are no replacement teachers for the current school year or substitute teachers for the previous school year. This means that she can never take a day off.

As a national problem, the discourse over the dearth of substitute teachers will continue. Two North Alabama school districts claim to have no substitute teachers available for the next school year. The situation has evolved into an urgent need.

Nearly every time, people want to know, “Why does this keep happening?” Substitutes were easy to get by for a lengthy period of time. When a teaching job opened up, many Alabama schools would call on their pool of substitutes.

“What we are seeing now is the need and demand I would characterize as crushing for substitute teachers,” explained Nicola Soares, president of Kelly Education. “That’s a result of full-time teachers leaving the profession. Kelly Education is a staffing service that has worked with fifty of Alabama’s school districts in order to combat the substitute shortage. Kelly Education is giving free training while lowering the level of qualifications, such as not requiring a four-year degree and removing the age limit of 21. They are doing this so that people can be hired and in place before the next school year starts.

In Alabama, substitutes must be at least 18 years old. Some jurisdictions require them to be at least 21 years of age and have a high school diploma or its equivalent. The state of Alabama also requires substitute teaching licenses.

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