To fight the ongoing shortage of substitute teachers being experienced by districts statewide, Sussex Technical High School has launched a new program to create a pool of permanent part-time substitutes with guaranteed hours.

The Sussex Technical School District has created a new position classification for substitute teachers with a guarantee of working 29.5 hours per week, or about four days, who will be paid up to $125 per day depending on qualifications. Interested applicants can find more information by visiting joindelawareschools.org and searching “Sussex Tech.”

“Good substitute teachers play an important role in public education, helping fill in gaps when teachers have to be out,” said Superintendent Stephen Guthrie. “But we know that working day-to-day with no assurance of regular hours can be difficult. We are looking for qualified, talented substitutes to join our staff with guaranteed hours, working with a great student body, exemplary colleagues and a positive school climate as we help prepare students for their future.”

All districts in the state have experienced difficulties finding enough substitutes to cover classrooms when teachers must be absent for sick leave, family illnesses or other reasons. If substitutes can’t be found, other school staff and administrators have to fill in, taking them away from their normal jobs.

In Delaware, substitute teachers are classified into three categories to determine their pay, but are not generally guaranteed work each day. The state sets a base pay rate to reimburse schools, and districts can supplement that with local funds.

“We believe this will be an attractive offer for substitute teachers who want stable, guaranteed work with a high level of pay,” said Principal John Demby.

The district will create a pool of permanent part-time substitutes, and maintain a waiting list of others interested. Permanent substitutes will receive performance evaluations like any other member of the staff. If fewer than normal substitutes are needed on a given day, they will be assigned other duties.