Today, the Daviess County Public School Board voted in approval to pay starting salary wages to retired teachers who substitute for long-term periods in DCPS schools.
Until this vote was approved, DCPS teachers, many of whom work as substitute teachers following retirement, work at a daily rate of pay called the Daily Wage Threshold (DWT). Long-term substitutes–those who fill in for teachers taking extended leaves of absences–aren’t paid salary wages until their 21st day of continually filling in as a substitute.
Moreover, substitute teachers have been responsible for keeping track of their number of days worked leading to their 21st day. After twenty days, substitutes must indicate when their 21st day began on a Certified Absentee Form. A rate increase begins on the 21st day and pay is determined by the substitute’s rank and experience, or by the DWT decided by the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System.
After the approval, long-term substitutes will now be paid salary wages starting from their first day of long-term substitution. The total additional cost for this change is projected to be $20,000.
The school board isn’t as worried about the extra costs as they are with keeping hard-working substitutes in their schools. Board member Dale Stewart believes the approval of the Long-Term Substitute Teacher Salary Schedule will benefit everyone involved, including the schools, the students and the retired teachers.
“I’ve talked to some teachers, and they’re excited,” said Stewart. “It’s important to be competitive with our district.”
Superintendent Matt Robbins explained that changing the salary schedule kept DCPS on track with their sister school district who’d already begun paying long-term substitutes salary from day one.
“I’m a little embarrassed we didn’t bring this to you five years ago,” Robbins said to the board. “But there’s no time like the present.”
The issue surrounding the Daily Wage Threshold had been ongoing for years, Robbins explained. Starting now, however, retired teachers who sub long-term can take a day off during the week if needed, without having to keep up with all the counting.
Robbins said this change also benefits students, in that long-term subs will participate more with their students and take on more responsibility while filling in.
“Substitutes will do the grading and be more active with the assignments,” said Robbins.
In order to receive the starting salary wages, the substitute must be a retired teacher, must have documentation from the Personnel Director to approve the Leave of Absence and must sign on to substitute for at least 20 days, with salary wage starting the first day.