(PLATTSBURG, Mo.) Missouri's education leaders have now made it easier to become a substitute teacher.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved an emergency amendment which loosens the substitute teacher certification process. Instead of 60 hours of college credit and a state certificate, now interested applicants only need to complete a DESE-approved 20 hour online course.
“I don’t think in my opinion that 60 college hours delineates you from being a high quality substitute versus not,” said Dr. Sandy Steggall, Superintendent of Clinton County R-III School District.
The change comes amid a long-time shortage of substitute teachers statewide which was only deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some area school districts are so desperate for subs, they're willing to foot the bill for the required course's costs.
“Sometimes it’s a barrier for people to come up with the $180 and also the background check. For me, it’s a win-win. We get a high quality substitute and they are able to receive compensation and reimbursement for investing in our district,” said Stegall.
The Clinton County R-III School District will invest $200 towards each substitute teacher who works at least five days for the district.
Stegall said on multiple occasions principals have had to sub for absent teachers, as well as teachers using their planned periods to cover other classrooms.
By easing restrictions and paying the bill, Clinton County R-III School District said they hope to receive more support and get out of this sticky situation.
“If there’s people out there who would help out school districts and take this on, our staff and our district would be greatly appreciative,” said Steggall.
Clinton County R-III pays a substitute teacher $95 per day.
To take the online course, CLICK HERE.