Executive Summary

Substitute teachers are essential for the continuity of learning in K-12 public schools. However, many school districts face challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified and committed substitute teachers. Many barriers, including the steep and varied state requirements for becoming a substitute, may deter individuals from entering the substitute teacher pool. Others, such as the absence of a targeted substitute teacher training program, may prevent individuals from staying in the pool even after they have fulfilled the requirements. This white paper proposes that adopting an employee first mindset, which prioritizes the needs and interests of employees, can help school districts overcome these challenges, improve their substitute teaching workforce, and minimize disruptions to student learning.

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