LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) —Substitute teachers are needed more than ever across Central Texas, but many districts are struggling to fill those positions.

“You don’t ever have enough substitute teachers,” said John West with Leander ISD’s HR Supports Services. “Ideally we would like to be at 1,000 subs throughout the year.”

West says because of the pandemic those numbers are not where they need to be. Right now, they have about 700 substitute teachers in their sub pool, but only about 375 of those are considered active, which means they have taught at least once this year.

Laurie Wright one of those active subs, but she knows they need more.

The solution according to the district is using ESS, a company that specializes in hiring and training subs.

“That is their center focus, they have the resources, call centers,” West said.

“Being able to provide the substitute staff really allows the district to achieve their educational goals,” said Jenna Cruz, vice president of ESS.

Leander ISD does not offer benefits to their subs, but ESS will.

“We offer a wide variety of benefits for all the staff that join as ESS substitutes,” Cruz said.

They will also offer weekly pay instead of bi-weekly and the option to participate in a 401(k) plan.

These incentives can be an attractive offer in a time when subs are needed more than ever.

ESS will also offer training opportunities to new subs. Some of those training sessions include how to navigate teaching in a virtual classroom.

ESS says they are currently recruiting subs for Leander ISD.

Pay for substitute teachers varies for different positions and time spent in the classroom. A certified substitute teacher can make $95.