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Area ESDs confirm shortage of substitute teachers

Brian Bull


Oregon’s temporary emergency substitute teacher license allows schools to hire subs who don’t have a college degree. Area officials confirm they’re pinched for substitute help. 

Michael Lasher is superintendent of the Douglas County ESD, which serves 13 districts, including Roseburg. He said it’s sometimes a struggle to find subs. “It depends on ebb and flow of COVID and the number of teachers that are getting quarantined," he told KLCC. "There’s very little, sort of, slack in the rope, if somebody has to go out, even if they get a cold or the flu or something and they have to be away from teaching.”


Lasher said quarantine periods are particularly hard, since it’s a 10-day absence, or more.


The High Desert ESD places substitutes in central Oregon. In an email, HR Director Jayel Hayden said they especially need teacher’s aide subs. Last month they could only fill 54% of the classified substitute requests.


Hayden said they are actively recruiting classified substitutes, especially among parents and community members who stepped up as virtual classroom assistants to support distance learning last school year. There's more information on their website here


Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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