California substitute shortage compounded by pandemic could keep some schools closed

A critical shortage of substitute teachers during the pandemic may make it difficult for some California school districts to reopen campuses or to keep open schools already offering in-person instruction.

A sharp decline in applications for substitute teaching credentials since January, as well an exodus of already credentialed substitutes, have left some districts unable to keep classrooms open, especially as more teachers are quarantined after potential exposure to Covid-19.

Substitute pools at school districts are being drained, in part, because temporary teachers are tired of waiting to be called for the scarce jobs available during distance learning or are uncomfortable with the technology required. Some substitutes in districts that have reopened campuses fear returning to the classroom during the pandemic or can’t find child care for children who are home half the week in hybrid instruction.

California has had a substitute shortage for years, but the pandemic is making it worse, especially for smaller, rural districts. But the issue is a concern for many districts, even larger ones, as they prepare to reopen in 2021. Click here to read more: