AUSTIN (KXAN) — In an effort to keep classrooms open amid teacher sick calls during this COVID-19 surge, the Austin Independent School District is sweetening the deal for substitutes starting next week.
In an AISD Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, a plan to get more substitutes was laid out that includes reducing the amount of college credit hours required and increasing daily pay rates.
Now, people with less than 60 college credit hours can apply to be a sub and pay is anywhere from $115-$165 per day. Substitutes are also eligible for a $25 bonus per day if they cover a class when Austin-Travis County is in Stage 5 COVID-19 risk-based guidelines. If subs fill in for an entire month during Stages 4 or 5, they could be eligible for a $300 bonus.
Applicants will be screened and background checked, and substitutes will be trained before starting.
AISD Chief of Human Capital Leslie Stephens said around 400 people who work in the district’s central office are filling in as substitutes.
“We’ve structured it so for a central office staff members it’s the same day of the week, every week,” she said.
Stephens said the new strategies were pulled from other districts in the area.
AISD officials said if there’s “evidence through contact tracing of spread in a classroom,” they’ll close that classroom. That happened once this week at St. Elmo Elementary School, officials said.