Schools in Rutherford County see major shortage of substitute teachers

Gina Vickrey
Gina Vickrey (Photo: WKRN)

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A major shortage of substitute teachers in Rutherford County has left the school district scrambling to find someone to monitor students in class.

The district is one of the lowest paid in the Middle Tennessee, but that could soon change.

Gina Vickrey is a familiar face around Waldron Elementary School in La Vergne.

She’s been substitute teaching at the school and La Vergne Lake for seven years now, five days a week.

Elementary school Education Generic
Photo: WKRN

“To sub you have to have the incentive to want to work with children,” Vickrey said. “You have to have a lot of knowledge to work with children. You have to have of course a lot of patience, and the love for teacher.”

Even though the Rutherford County School District can rely on Vickrey, it’s not the case with many other substitute teachers.

“There are 417 people signed up to substitute teachers but only a couple of hundred are available,” said Rutherford County spokesman James Evans.

“This year I know there is a shortage,” Vickrey said. “I’m not sure I know why, maybe it’s the pay.”

And she’s right.

Elementary school Education Generic
Photo: WKRN

Rutherford County Schools subs are among the lowest paid: $65 a day for subs with a Tennessee teaching certificate and $60 with a 4-year degree, and it’s even less with a high school diploma or GED or for an Educational Assistant.

Murfreesboro City Schools, for example, say their rates are around $75 and $72 a day.

The district is hoping to increase the base pay by for subs by five to 10 dollars which could cost the district more than $100,000.

School officials tell me they hope to get a pool of 600 teachers. That way they won’t have to pull secretaries, educational assistants, and even administrators to fill the void in the classrooms.

Advantage X-P-O is the staffing agency who hired substitute teachers for Rutherford County. Openings are available right now.

Applications can be taken Tuesday to Thursday at Advantage’s office located at 630 Broadmoor Drive, Suite 120, Murfreesboro.

News 2 looked into pay rates for substitute teachers in other counties. Williamson County says the range is from 65 to 90 dollars a day, Metro says theirs is between 78 to 84 dollars a day, and in Wilson County it’s between 72 and 85 dollars a day.

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