St. Charles School District moving forward with pay increase for substitute teachers

The St. Charles School Board is voicing its opposition to a bill before the Illinois Senate that would require Illinois public schools to teach “age appropriate” sex education beginning in kindergarten. (Shaw Media file photo of D303 Bell Graham Elementary School)

The St. Charles School District 303 school board is set to vote at its Oct. 11 meeting to increase the pay for substitute teachers.

For the second year in a row, St. Charles is looking to boost the pay of its substitutes in order to stay competitive with other school districts. The issue was discussed during the school board’s Business Services Committee meeting on Monday.

Last November, the school board voted to increase the pay for substitute teachers from $100 a day to $120 a day. The district’s administration is recommending the pay for substitute teachers increase from $120 for a full day (7 hours) to $145 a day starting Oct. 15.

“We have been looking at the rates in surrounding districts and surrounding counties,” Marci Conlin, the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources, told school board members. “If we look at surrounding counties, Kane County is much lower than other counties in the way they are paying substitutes. That’s why I’m bringing this forward now as opposed to waiting later in the year, because I think we need to get ahead of this. I also know that other Kane County school districts are looking at their sub rates, so more than likely they will be increasing them at some point as well.”

She noted that the range for substitute teachers in the Kane County area is from $105 to $150 for a full day.

“Our proposed rate is towards the top end of that but not higher than what that top rate is,” Conlin said.

As proposed, for those substitute teachers who have reached their 31st day of work – nonconsecutive – their pay would increase from $140 to $165 for a full day. The substitute teacher would keep the rate for two years.

No other school district in Kane County is keeping such a rate for two years, Conlin said.

“So we’re really giving those substitutes that come and sub with us on a regular basis that advantage of knowing that they will have that higher rate starting at the next year as well,” she said.

In addition, the rate for a retired substitute teacher would increase from $120 for a full day to $200 for a full day.

“We’ve had retirees reach out to us and say, we’d literally like to sub but you’re not paying us what you’re paying other substitutes and so we took that in consideration. And why wouldn’t we want some retirees to come in and sub with us that know our students and know our schools. So we should give them a proper rate as well.”

In addition, the pay for support staff substitutes would increase from $110.40 for a full day to $180 for a full day. Board member Kate Bell thanked Conlin for recognizing that the school district needs to be competitive if it hopes to attract the number of substitute teachers it needs.

“I know there’s a shortage for subs,” Bell said. “Same thing with the transportation department and I really appreciate that. Because what I’ve heard in the public is that we just weren’t as competitive.”