Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
Mt. Pleasant Superintendent John Henriksen says he will ask the governor to continue a substitute proclamation put in place to make it easier for school districts to institute substitute teachers.
The problem arose when quarantining was happening at a more frequent rate. Teachers were quarantining or were ill, and it made it hard for the district to staff the classrooms.
With the proclamation, paraeducators are able to take over as substitute teacher. Henriksen’s say’s they are more than capable of leading the classroom.
“We have paraeducators that work for us everyday,” he said. “They’re in those classrooms everyday and are very capable of covering those classrooms for a short term when someone is absent.”
When the proclamation was first put into place last year, all the paraeducators were offered the opportunity to receive their substitute teacher authorization. The school district paid for the classes and the licensing.
Henriksen says it’s been hard without the proclamation to find substitute teachers.
“When the proclamation ended the first time, we didn’t have that flexibility any longer,” he said. “We’re all dealing with such a difficult and tight labor market its hard to find substitute teachers, and long-term substitute teachers. This proclamation allow us to use some of the people that are already in our system as substitute teachers. It gives us a lot of flexibility that we would not have without the proclamation.