D.C. Public Schools may face a huge shortage of substitute teachers in the upcoming academic year, which could have an impact on classrooms and school operations, according to a new analysis.
The number of substitutes employed by the city’s public school system fell by nearly 50% from before the coronavirus pandemic began to the start of 2022, according to the analysis by the D.C. Policy Center. The number of substitutes dropped from 987 at the start of 2020 to 501 in the first quarter of this year.
Myrtle Washington, president of the Washington Substitute Teachers United, said many of her members have skills that can be utilized in other fields plus the pandemic produced “a mass exodus,” WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported.
“They’re paying more money,” Washington said, WRC reported. “So, a number of substitute teachers have decided to leave, and not only that, it’s for safety reasons as well. We would like to be treated as professionals and not just subs.”