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St. Johns County school district pushes for substitute teacher raise

Proposal would raise pay from $12/hr to $14/hr

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Substitute teachers in St. Johns County could soon see their first raise in more than a decade. 

During a St. Johns County School Board workshop meeting Tuesday, the school district proposed raising pay for substitute teachers from $12 to $14 an hour.

The last time substitutes in the county got a raise was 2007.

The district said the raise is needed to stay competitive in the job market and help fill vacancies in the fast-growing school district. As of Oct. 17, 76 vacant teacher positions were filled with a substitute. Nearly 700 substitutes worked for the district last school year there are currently 644 active substitutes who work at-will.

"We need substitutes. We need our substitutes to work more often. Substitutes need and want to feel valued," a district presentation to the school board read. "It is important we take care of our substitutes, so they take care of our students when teachers need to be out."

In a survey of current substitute teachers, 60 percent said higher pay would encourage them to work more frequently. The district said jobs like Amazon, Target and Home Depot that currently pay more than the district pays subs.

If the $2 raise had been place last school year, it would have cost the district an additional $383,000.

Any raise for substitutes must be approved by the school board.

The district will be looking to hire more substitutes soon and is conducting interviews next week.

The St. Johns County School District agreed last month to put an additional $4.8 million toward teacher salaries which will give some teachers a $2,000 bump in their yearly pay.

Earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis made a pitch to raise the minimum salaries of Florida public school teachers to $47,500.