Every day, Tulsa Public Schools confronts the challenge of finding some 100 substitutes to fill teacher absences. The district believes a raise for subs will help relieve that problem. Their plan calls for raising pay from $50 to $90 a day for certified workers and from $45 to $70 for non-certified substitutes.
Regular Tulsa classroom teachers raised concerns about the pay hike. "One of the issues truly was, if there was this much money for sub raises, that there could have been some changes made for teachers themselves,â€ said Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association representative Beth Gooch.
Teachers had other objections the district had to address. The cost of subs is deducted from their respective paycheck for personal days or after sick days run out. The district agreed to leave that amount at its present level of $50. Teachers also asked whether they'd receive a raise when asked to cover classes when subs aren't available. That has been resolved by pro-rating it on the basis of $90 a day. That, in essence, is a little bit of an increase for teachers.
The district says it's pleased with the solution and with prospects of attracting qualified help. School officials say word of a possible raise has already increased inquiries about subbing. "It certainly makes us a lot more attractive to subs working in other districts, but also to subs who aren't working in other districts,â€ said Tulsa Public Schoolsâ€™ Bill Nafzger. â€œAnd that's really what we want to do."
Classroom teachers say they're satisfied with the agreement for this year.
" I do think we need to look at all of these issues at the table again this summer and see did this in fact solve our sub problems,â€ Nafzger noted.