Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

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Board of Education approves $5 daily increase in substitute pay

It’s the second increase in two years due to due to a post-COVID-19 substitute shortage
Substitute+teacher+Madalyn+Eathington+leads+an+Honors+English+2%3A+Journalism+class+on+March+15.+Substitute+teacher+pay+rates+have+jumped+by+%2420+over+the+past+few+years+due+to+a+shortage+of+subs.
Jake Pfeiffer
Substitute teacher Madalyn Eathington leads an Honors English 2: Journalism class on March 15. Substitute teacher pay rates have jumped by $20 over the past few years due to a shortage of subs.

District 203’s Board of Education approved a $5 increase to daily substitute teacher pay rates during the Feb. 20 Board of Education meeting.

The pay rate increase will bring the daily compensation to $130 during the 2024-25 school year. 

“The administration proposed the $5 per day increase to our daily substitute teacher pay, effective next school year, as another step to encourage existing substitutes to say yes more often and as a way to encourage more qualified candidates to become substitutes,” said Bob Ross, Chief Human Resources Officer of Naperville 203 in a written comment to the Central Times.

As part of the fallout associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, a sub shortage hit 203 and surrounding districts hard soon after returning to in-person instruction. The shortage was most apparent at Central during the times when multiple classes had to be grouped in the same space in order to make up for the lack of subs.

“I don’t know if we ever were in our ideal state,” Principal Jackie Thornton said. “I think this year certainly there’s improvement. So I appreciate the efforts on behalf of the board and district administration to make it a more attractive position.”

This increase is an addition to numerous measures approved by the board over the past several years to help minimize the shortage. Previous efforts include an increase from $110 to $125 starting in the 2023-24 school year. Retired teachers who sub in the district now earn $175 per day, implemented for the 2023-24 school year. In January 2023, ‘surge pay’ was implemented by the district during days of extra need, subs earn $135 during these days. Implemented during the 2021-22 school year, subs now earn a $100 bonus for every 10 times they sub. 

“I hope that [the pay rate] will continue to entice retired teachers to come back,” Thornton said. “It would maybe be more helpful if every Friday was a surge payday and you knew that in advance. I feel [the district] calls it a surge payday when we’ve already had to make the call to move classes to the little theatre because we’re so short.”

The total yearly fiscal impact on the district as a result of the pay increase is estimated at $90,000.

“There is a shortage of substitute teachers across Illinois and across the United States,” Ross said. “This is a hot topic in school personnel circles. Every district I know is looking for ways to improve in this area.“

The board also approved a litany of pay increases across non-unionised positions relating to 

increasing minimum wage in Illinois. The same action also aligned substitute support staff and substitute maintenance workers pay rate to the same as starting pay for the positions. The total estimated fiscal impact of the slate of increases is estimated to be $139,615.

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About the Contributors
Jay Deegan
Jay Deegan, Print Managing Editor
Jay Deegan is a Junior at Central and happy to start his third year of journalistic adventures at the Central Times. Jay loves writing features and diving in-depth into issues that plague our community. In his free time Jay runs a freelance videography and photography business and loves to creatively express his interests in sports and filmmaking. If you’d like to join CT or have a tip, reach out!
Jake Pfeiffer
Jake Pfeiffer, Editor-in-Chief
Jake Pfeiffer is a senior, entering his third year on the Central Times staff, this time as Editor-in-Chief. Jake joined CT as a sophomore because he wanted to write news, but since then he has grown to love just about every element of journalism. While it is rare to see Jake anywhere other than the CT office, occasionally you can find him captaining Central’s debate team, watching baseball, listening to a seemingly endless amount of podcasts or drowning in college applications.
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