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

Human Resources

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!


Ryan Estes

Ryan is the Content Marketing Manager for the global award-winning Content Team at Frontline Education. He spends his time writing, podcasting, and creating content for leaders in K-12 education