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(VIDEO) Explain It Like I’m 9: Low Substitute Fill Rates? Your Substitute Teachers Might Not Be Accepting Jobs.

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Ah, new beginnings… Welcome to the first episode in a new series from Frontline Education: “Explain It Like I’m 9.” In each episode, our elementary and middle school-aged experts will take a quick look at a data point that impacts school leaders. Then, they’ll examine what it can tell us, and offer some takeaways or questions for reflection.

All in 2 minutes or less!


A Closer Look at the Substitute Shortage

Can’t find enough substitute teachers to cover teacher absences? Seems like a simple case of not enough substitutes, right? But not so fast…

While you might need a larger pool of substitutes, it’s also possible that you have plenty — and that they just aren’t taking jobs in your district. The Frontline Research & Learning Institute found that on any given month or school year, half of all substitute teachers did not work. And on average, substitutes only work about four days a month. All that adds up — nationally, only 80 percent of teacher absences are covered by a qualified substitute.

Try talking to the substitute teachers in your district:

For kids, it could mean the difference between a class covered by a skilled substitute teacher, and study hall.

Want to see more of these as they’re released? Be sure to subscribe to Frontline’s YouTube channel!