Shortage of substitute teachers in Michigan

Chris Galloway, President of EDU Staff, says there is a demand for substitute teachers in the state of Michigan but the positions are hard to fill.

"We have fewer people going into education to become teachers, we have competing economics, and we don't have many retirees being allowed back into the classroom ... when you combine this it reduces the amount of people working ," he said.

But Lawmakers may have a solution to the problem through two new possible House Bills discussed at the Standing Committee meeting for Education Reform on Thursday.

One bill, House Bill 4609, would lower the requirements from 90 hours to 60 hours of college credits to be eligible to be a substitute teacher, and the other, House Bill 4421, would allow those with a professional license or certification to substitute teach.

"This could have a dynamic impact on the quantity of people and the type of people who may not necessarily have the certification background but are very good at what they do," Galloway said.

State Representative Tim Kelly (R - Committee Chair, 49th District) supports the bills and says Michigan needs subject matter experts not necessarily fully certified teachers.

Some have mixed views.

" I want to make sure that I thoroughly review and hear from all sides," said State Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) .

And others disagree.

"Simply removing the requirements when we are not addressing the compensation issue that is the real problem," said State Rep. Adam Semke (D - Minority Vice Chair, 55th District) .

The average pay for a substitute teacher in Michigan is $80 to $ 90 dollars a day .

If you are interested in substitute teaching, visit www.edustaff.org or call EDU Staff at 877-974-6338.