District, state take action to alleviate substitute teacher shortage


Jake Pfeiffer

A sign in Central’s front office asks for substitute teachers to sign up for Jan. 25.

Jeremy Zhao, Print Managing Editor

District 203 retirees who return as substitute teachers began receiving higher pay on Jan. 17. A surge pay policy will also be implemented to pay daily subs more on days when there’s higher demand, according to a district press release.  

Retirees who return will now be paid $175 per day, according to the press release. Surge pay, which only applies to daily subs, will pay $135 per day, a $25 increase from the current $110 per day. 

These initiatives come during a nationwide substitute shortage that saw statewide changes that lessened requirements to become a substitute teacher. From the Illinois State Board of Education, students enrolled in “approved Illinois educator preparation” programs with 90 credit hours can apply for a substitute license starting Jan. 1. 

“We have higher rates of teacher absenteeism than we’ve ever had,” Central Principal Jackie Thornton said. “Part of my hope for widening the pool of substitute eligibility to people in the process of gaining a college degree is that perhaps they might find out they love this and decide to be an education major.”


Claire Yung contributed to this story.