It's just another example of what a difference a year can make. After eliminating them last year, Tulsa Public Schools is welcoming paid substitutes back to the district.
News on 6 anchor Terry Hood says volunteer substitutes saved Tulsa Public Schools about $400,000 last year. But when volunteers ran short, it was teachers who picked up the slack.
So, they're pretty excited to see professional substitutes back in the classroom. And many substitutes are glad to be back as well. Willie Givens is a former teacher who relied on his substitute pay to supplement his retirement. When the district stopped paying, he stopped teaching.
This year, things are different. With a little help from the Zarrow Million dollar Challenge Grant and budget cuts made last year, TPS can afford to pay substitutes again.
Many teachers at Edison expressed a sigh of relief to see them back in the building. Spanish teacher, Stacey Vernon, "It really has made a difference with the beginning of the school year being so busy when you're not being asked to take on someone else's class for an hour you have your whole planning period to get ready."
Substitute teacher Willie Givens, "I can somewhat sense that they've been through a trying time and they're so happy to see me back. People who I have seen before that had very little to say now come up and say glad you are in the building."
Paid substitutes are back, but the district is still keeping an eye on the bottom line.