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URBANDALE, Iowa — Teacher shortages have become common across the country, but it’s actually a problem that schools have faced for years. Specifically, substitute teacher shortages. Here in the Des Moines metro one district is taking a new approach.

About two weeks ago Urbandale Schools announced on various social media platforms and within their community that they are looking for substitute teachers and they have a new plan that creates some incentives for anyone who’s interested.

“First, we asked our teachers to come to the table working with the teachers union and got some representation from elementary, middle high school, district administration, some of the building administration and we spent about six weeks coming up with identifying the exact problem and then brainstorming some solutions to the problem,” said District Superintendent, Rosalie Daca. 

The plan includes:

  • Raising the pay from $135 a day to $165 a day
  • A loyalty bonus to $185 per day for people who have subbed in the district for a total of 50 days
  • Increasing the number of full time substitutes from 10 to 15
  • Offering associates and paraprofessionals the opportunity to get their sub license

One of the goals of this plan was to draw in high-quality subs for all of Urbandale students, so not only the kids could receive what they needed at school but so that other staff would not be stretched thin.

“We know that it’s really difficult work and that’s why we appreciate their efforts so much and want to compensate them as best we can for the work that they do. Because of how important it is and how flexible they have to be,” said Director of HR, Loren DeKruyf.

If you are interested in learning more about the plan you can find the information here.