Illinois is short 600 school substitutes a day, study finds

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A survey of Illinois public school districts finds administrators are scrambling to find substitute teachers for as many as 600 classrooms a day.

The review of 400 districts that the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools released Tuesday reveals that teachers call in absences more than 16,000 times per week. Administrators have trouble finding enough people to fill in for nearly 20 percent of them.

Jeff Vose (VOHS’) is association president. The regional superintendent for Sangamon and Menard counties says stricter licensing requirements are to blame. For several years the fee to become a registered substitute was $200.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law last week cutting the cost by $50. But Vose says the state needs more ways to bolster backup-teacher numbers.