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Subs get first raise in 9 years
MONROE - Substitute teachers for the Monroe school district will receive a pay increase for the first time in nine years, bringing it up to a flat rate of $120 per day starting at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year and ending stepped increases. The school board approved the changes unanimously at Monday's meeting.

The last time the sub rate was changed was in 2005, where it was set to a scale ranging from $90 to $110 per day, depending on how many days the substitute had worked for the district.

Most substitutes are paid at the $110 rate, even if they only work for the district "a handful of times a year," according to Ron Olson, the district business manager.

"It's definitely time to move it," Olson said at a finance committee meeting on Aug. 11. He also noted the increase wouldn't impact the budget very much at a cost of about $20,000.

Olson originally recommended a flat rate of $115/day, with the caveat that they may need to reevaluate the rate once the school year started based on other districts' rates and whether there was a shortage of substitutes. But the board's finance committee decided to go with $120/day.

"I think we move it to 120 ... to make sure Monroe is the district of choice," said board member Brian Keith at the Aug. 11 meeting.

Michael Boehme agreed with the $120 rate, citing the desire to eliminate sub shortages.

While District Administrator Cory Hirsbrunner said the district doesn't have a shortage at the moment, it can be variable.

According to Olson, a shortage of substitute teachers in the spring led to an increase in some other districts' rates. The Albany school district raised its rate to $125/day after surveying surrounding districts in February and finding most to be paying about $95 or $100 per day. Most other districts either raised their rate in the spring or planned to look at the issue this summer.

The board settled on a flat rate because of the difficulty of tracking the stepped increases - the days accumulated on a lifetime counter without having to be consecutive or even from the same school year - and because most subs were paid the highest rate anyway.

Long-term substitutes will continue to be paid at the current salary schedule base wage after 10 consecutive days in the same position.

Amy Bazley was absent.