The New Paltz Central School District (NPCSD) Board of Education (BOE) approved an increase of pay wages for substitute teachers and other substitute roles in the District during their workshop meeting on January 5. The action was taken to help address the workforce shortage created by mandatory quarantines or illness associated with COVID-19. Superintendent Angela Urbina-Medina said that the increases were proposed to help close the gap between the District’s pay rate and the region’s increasing cost of living, as well as to meet or exceed pay rates offered by other districts in order to attract more candidates to the open positions. Urbina-Medina added that keeping the school buildings open for in-person learning is the District’s priority, however that has been particularly challenging during the latest COVID-19 Omicron surge.
The newly approved rate is now $150 per day for certified substitute teachers, an increase from $120, representing an additional 20 percent in wages. Non-certified substitute teachers will now earn $125 per day, which is an increase from $80 per day, a 33.3 percent bump.
The BOE also approved pay raises for other substitute positions, many of which received an average increase of $3 per hour. These positions include substitute school bus attendants, food service workers, teacher aides, school monitors, library clerks and more. Substitute school bus drivers will now receive $28 per hour, substitute custodial workers will earn $18 per hour and substitute teachers aides and substitute food service helpers will be paid $16.50 per hour.
“We hope these increases will help to broaden the pool of high-quality, diverse candidates to fill these roles,” explained BOE President Bianca Tanis. “Our students deserve the best educational experience possible, which includes ensuring we have outstanding instructors and staff available to them during these trying times–and for the future.” Like Urbina-Medina, Tanis said the District is striving to keep the buildings open five days a week, however, adequate staffing has challenged that objective since the pandemic began. “We are so proud of how hard our staff has been working under these conditions,” she said. “We look forward to seeing new faces among our school community.”