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Austin ISD proposes agreement to address substitute teacher shortage

The agreement proposed Thursday night would result in some existing teachers and/or special education teaching assistants filling in as substitutes.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin ISD leaders have proposed a new agreement to deal with a shortage of substitute teachers in the district.

At a meeting Thursday night, district leaders discussed an agreement that would use some existing teachers to help fill the gaps when a substitute teacher cannot be secured.

According to the proposed agreement, the two groups of teachers the district would utilize as substitutes are teachers who have an extra planning period, in addition to their state-mandated one, and special education teaching assistants.

For the teachers who would be substituting on their extra planning periods, the agreement shows they will get paid $18 per hour or $27 per 90 minutes of substituting. If more kids get added to their existing class because the district doesn't have enough substitutes, the teachers will not be compensated. 

RELATED: Austin ISD dealing with a teacher shortage

The agreement shows that the special education training assistants would get paid “an hourly rate of the current substitute rate divided by 7.5 hours to determine the hourly additional amount.” The district also said these would be TAs who work with a full class of students, not one-on-one special education TAs. They also say if having a special education TA fill in as a substitute will impact the education and care of any of the special education students they are normally with, then the district will not pull them to be a substitute.

The agreement shows a TA or teacher cannot substitute more than five consecutive days in a row for the same teacher. 

The district said it understands it needs an adequate pool of substitutes but also sees the benefit of using existing teachers.

A proposed calendar for the 2022-23 school year was also discussed at Thursday night’s meeting. The revisions on the proposed calendar are based on recommendations from teachers and are meant to give them more strategic breaks.

Some of the changes to the calendar include professional learning exchange days (PLED) on ACL Festival Fridays, observance of Juneteenth, observance of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta Day and designated parent conference evenings.


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