Regents Focus on Substitute Teacher Shortage

Several Regent meetings during the last school year focused on requirements for substitute teachers. Each meeting resulted in rigorous conversations as to the extent of shortages and the most effective way to attack the challenges around this issue. The item this month brought data and examples of practices from the field that are being used to address shortages.


To drill down further on this issue, district superintendents across the state conducted a four-week study (January – February 2019) to informally assess the ability to find substitutes for the day on which a teacher was absent. The data collected indicated variability across the state, with an average fill rate of 83 percent. The area least able to find substitute teachers was Westchester (59 percent) and the highest was St. Lawrence-Lewis at 94 percent.

The discussion proceeded to highlight strategies used by districts to address teacher absences; primarily collaborations with institutes of higher education.

A link to this Regents discussion item may be found using the link below. Stay tuned for further updates.