Wichita Public Schools will soon start another school year with a shortage of substitute teachers.
While the school district has fewer vacant teaching jobs this year, long-term substitutes will fill some of the remaining positions. That takes more substitutes out of the already small pool used to cover absent teachers.
When a substitute isn’t available to cover a class, those students are spread among other classrooms for the day, overloading the class sizes for some teachers.
“So they’re going to have to take a part of this class and another teacher is going to have to take part of this class and it’s just a little more disruptive,” said Shannon Krysl, the chief human resource officer for Wichita Public Schools.
Some teachers have been reluctant to take time off knowing that it could make the day worse for their students and fellow teachers if a substitute isn’t found.
Wichita Public Schools is raising substitute teacher pay this year by about 5 percent.
Stephan Bisaha reports on education for KMUW in Wichita and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.