The teacher shortage in Bay County leading up to the new school year resulted in the hiring of many long term substitutes.

These subs filled the open vacancies while many worked to obtain their official Florida teachers license. Bay District Schools hired more than a hundred full time substitutes to fill teacher vacancies going into the school year. 

“We’ve come up with a plan for putting people in the classrooms who are serving as substitutes right now that have every intention of becoming a certified teacher,” said bay district human resources executive director Shirley Baker.

That plan categorizes subs into two categories: pre-conditional and conditional.

Pre-conditional subs still need a statement of eligibility from the Department of Education. After they receive it, they are bumped up to conditional. 

“At the point that a teacher becomes a conditional substitute we do grant them back pay because at that point we have paperwork that they qualify,” said Baker.

Subs will only see the back pay once they have both their statement of eligibility and teachers certificate.

“It will be full teachers salary minus what we’ve paid them,” said Baker.

But that can be an long waiting period for subs who are paid $10 an hour. That’s why the school board approved a pay raise to $22.50. 

“They are doing the work of a teacher so we wanted to compensate them for that work,” said Baker.

The district said the process can be slow but it’s working. They started the year with 69 pre-conditional subs and now are down to 20. For conditional it began at 42 and now at 19 meaning more subs are officially certified. 

As of September 16th substitutes should see the raise on their next pay check.