Massachusetts school districts struggle to find substitute teachers

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Low pay and a strong local economy are creating a shortage of substitute teachers in many Massachusetts school districts.

The Telegram of Worcester reports that substitutes — even those with college degrees and teacher certifications — receive less than $100 per day to fill in for a full day in most Worcester-area communities.

The state’s current minimum wage for all workers is $12 per hour.

Officials say the low compensation and other opportunities presented by a strong job market are making it increasingly difficult for school districts to find substitute teachers.

Worcester Superintendent Maureen Binienda says she would like to increase the $70 daily rate for substitutes. But she says there are too many other budget priorities, including the hiring of more permanent classroom teachers, school psychologists, and guidance counselors.