Tulsa Public Schools is making changes to try to get more substitute teachers.
The district says there is always a shortage of substitutes, but the pandemic is making the problem much worse.
TPS leaders say they're seeing 75 percent fewer substitute teachers this year than they usually do. It's why they're doing things like raising pay for subs to convince more people to sign up.
As students at Tulsa Public Schools return to in-person learning this week, district leaders are calling for volunteers to substitute teach.
TPS says they normally see about 400 substitutes each year, but this year that's down to about one hundred.
Chief Academic Officer Devin Fletcher says they need volunteers to help mitigate potential shortages.
"We would see on a day-to-day basis about 300 staff members out in a non-COVID environment, and substitutes play an incredible role in helping us create continuity and help us keep students and learning happening," Fletcher said.
They're boosting pay for those who substitute teach, and Superintendent Deborah Gist says she is prepared to sub this semester.
"I was assigned to McClure in November as well, so I'm pretty familiar with the team and students and school, but look forward to being a designated person to support this team as we move forward in-person learning," Gist said.
Tulsa Public Schools is also sending out these post-cards to recent graduates which outline the range of pay rate for subs from 90 to 140 dollars per day, depending on experience.
"It's what's going to be the make or break in our efforts to ensure continuity of student learning, which more plainly means that if we don't have a sufficient number of substitutes, then the system is already stressed," Fletcher said.
You can find more information on how to sign up to be a substitute, here or call 918-746-6310.