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Teacher Shortage In Washoe County Means More Subs

Every year the Washoe County School District needs to hire about 350 teachers. This year the hiring effort came up 80 teachers short.

Many of the vacancies are in hard-to-fill areas like special education, math, science and English language learning. To fill those positions, the district is turning to substitutes.

District Chief Human Resources Officer Dawn Huckaby says the designation “substitute” does not mean a teacher is less qualified.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say that," says Huckaby "We do have a lot of retirees that come back and sub with us after retirement. So it really depends on the position and the person taking that position.”

Using substitutes for the hard-to-fill positions has reduced the pool of available substitutes for normal vacancies. Some schools scramble to fill up to 100 jobs a day.

Last week the district sent an urgent phone messages to more than 1,000 substitutes asking them to take on more teaching jobs.