EL PASO - Faced with a deep shortage of substitute teachers, the El Paso Independent School District board Tuesday voted unanimously to remove advanced academic requirements for applicants.
Traditionally, the district required applicants to have 90 college credit hours to be considered for a substitute position. Now, the only requirement the district is looking for is a high school diploma.
“We also recognize that there’s several people that are qualified or are good candidates but don’t meet that qualification of the 90 hour rule, so we’re going to take a look at those as well," Gustavo Reveles, spokesman for EPISD explained about the decision.
Trustees also raised the pay for substitute positions inside and outside the classroom in order to remain competitive with other districts.
The items were approved during the consent agenda portion of the meeting and there was no discussion.
"The District will lose the ability to hire a greater number of individuals to cover classes in the absence of teachers," read the item posted on the meeting's agenda. "This burden will impact teachers as they are asked to cover for other colleagues due to lack of substitutes."
“We want to make sure that we have enough qualified and enough substitutes to go in those classrooms and take care of our students while our classroom teachers are out," Reveles said.
The requirement will be waived for the rest of this school year and the next.
The pay hike will apply to this school year only, according to documents on the district's website.
The rate for a substitute teacher without a degree will go from $75 to $100 per day. The daily rate for certified or retired teachers serving as substitutes will go from $100 to $160.
Other substitute positions such as bus drivers, clerks and school nurses, among others, will also receive a pay increase, according to the proposal.
Any qualifying candidate can fill out an application by clicking here.