School board to debate increasing substitute teacher pay

Solar project update, policy for temporary certificated employees also on agenda

The San Ramon Valley school board is set to consider raising the salaries paid to substitute teachers in the hopes of attracting more candidates.

"We are currently experiencing a substitute shortage," Keith Rogenski, assistant superintendent of human resources, wrote in his staff report in advance of Tuesday's board meeting. "We have completed a comparison of rates in surrounding districts and have determined that ours are among the lowest currently offered."

The new rate proposal, which would take effect Dec. 14, would increase the daily pay to $130 for substitutes working between one and 20 consecutive days.

The daily rate would bump up to $150 for 21 to 60 consecutive days and $170 per day for 61 or more straight days. The daily pay for retired teachers serving as substitutes would be $160.

The rates and time-frames vary from the district's current structure of $110 per day for one to 10 straight days, $125 per day for 11 to 60 straight days and $140 per day for 61 or more straight days.

The new salary structure is expected to cost about $437,000 this fiscal year, Rogenski said.

The board will debate the proposal as part of its open-session agenda, set to get underway at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the boardrooms at 699 Old Orchard Drive in Danville.

In other business

* Board members will receive an update on the district's effort to sell approximately $13.2 million in clean renewable energy bonds to finance new solar energy projects at 14 to 16 San Ramon Valley schools.

They will also consider a resolution that approves a ground lease, a lease agreement and a placement-agent agreement, as well as authorizes district staff to execute necessary documents and related actions associated with these steps of the bond sale, according to chief business officer Scott Anderson.

The district expects the bonds to be fully repaid by net electricity savings generated by the solar projects, with officials estimating the savings over 25 years to be $13.99 million (at a 15-year financing term), Anderson said.

* The board will discuss proposals for a new board policy and an administrative regulation addressing temporary and substitute certificated personnel.

The California School Boards Association recommends local districts adopt such documents, with the policy specifically addressing how districts are adhering to a new state law expanding paid sick leave to previously ineligible workers, Rogenski said.

The new policy and administrative regulation are listed as discussion-only items for Tuesday, with the final drafts to return for final board approval Dec. 8, he said.

* Board members will hear informational presentations about the Discovery Counseling Center and Danville's Sycamore Valley Elementary School.

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7 people like this
Posted by JimE
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 17, 2015 at 8:10 am

My Daughter is a substitute teacher and brings so much expertise and professionalism that I know that the students really benefit. With that said, any professional in most any other business would command north of $400 per day. The school district is getting a bargain and I applaud the raise.

3 people like this
Posted by Ye Olde Perfesser
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 17, 2015 at 10:15 am

In the '90s, I sub'd in the local school district when I was between jobs. Biggest problem was that the Regulars typically gave us no lesson plans -- nothing to do but keep order. At Los Cerros I was even issued Cindy Lauper videos that I was expected to play for the classes. Charlotte Wood School was the blessed exception. I also recall taking loads of crap from Disrespectfuls at Monte Vista; SRV and Cal not so much.

I ended up taking in a Trivial Pursuit game and dividing the class into teams -- kids Love to compete and who knows? Maybe a factoid or two got stuck in their heads.

Hope they expect more of their subs these days.

7 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 17, 2015 at 10:22 am

$110 for a days work and all the prep that goes with it. That is LESS than $14 per hour for a highly educated person!
Absurd. For a teacher with a classroom full of children, moving from crowd-contol to educating is a challenge, for a Substitute it is even more so.

5 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 17, 2015 at 10:31 am

If you are a parent with two children you understand the challenges that children pose. Imaging being in a room with twenty or twenty-five children with a job to do and being compensated less than $14 per hour.
I have taught a number of times in public schools.....never again. I now provide instruction in the private sector for $65 to $250 per hour.

13 people like this
Posted by bradylulu
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 17, 2015 at 11:35 am

I am a fully credentialed classroom teacher with experience in many different grades. I was employed with SRUSD
prior to leaving to stay home and raise our children. I returned 3 years ago as a substitute and would take many different classroom jobs, grade levels and even Special Day Classes. I've been happy to do so and have been MORE than requested and needed at many schools. I'm always scheduled! I put in long hours and faithfully leave the class at the end of the day with all the classroom teacher requested and more. When fill in needs to happen I provide appropriate educational elements based on my expertise and experience! I work hard to connect with every student and the teacher population at that school. I have taken several long term assignments and have been requested for many others. And always with great success!
With this scenario, YES, it is time we are compensated appropriately for our years of schooling, ongoing training, expertise and commitment. We should be compensated at an even higher rate than is proposed by SRUSD but moving forward and up the "living wage scale" is welcome news! THANK YOU for supporting us!

7 people like this
Posted by DanvilleParent
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Even a teacher offered substitute work all 180 days of the school year, an unlikely scenario in this unpredictable, "on-call" role, at the proposed maximum rate of $160/day, would gross a measly $28 800. It's a ridiculously low rate of pay, unpredictable and challenging job, and clearly the key reason for the shortage of professionals available in this high cost-of-living district. $320 per day would be more respectable. There are no pigs flying today, though.

2 people like this
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2015 at 2:29 pm

I am (pleasantly) surprised that none of the usual suspects have posted yet that this slave wage is adequate. Of course, they are the exact same people who will complain when the kids don't turn out perfect. Good grief, I think an assistant manager / burger engineer at Jack in the Box makes almost this much.

6 people like this
Posted by NewSRVUSDsub
a resident of Rancho Romero Elementary School
on Nov 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm

I agree with all the comments so far. I also agree that while the proposed wage increases are a step in the right direction, I don't think they are high enough to recruit the next tier of prospective subs into the market. I further propose that the district reimburse their subs for the out-of-pocket costs they experience just to become a substitute in the district. Having myself, just gone through the process this month, the current cost JUST TO GET HIRED is $400 (CBEST, TB test, CTC Application, 2 Fingerprint tests and official college transcripts.) I will need to work almost EIGHT days just to recoup my up front costs. These expenses, coupled with the low wages and the challenging and stressful job that substitute teaching can be, simply must factor in to why there is a shortage of subs in such a highly educated and service oriented community.

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