Several school districts in Western New York are scrambling to combat the shortage of substitute teachers, and some of those districts may have a plan to tackle this issue.Like many across the country, the Niagara Falls City School District is dealing with a teacher shortage.The district superintendent, Mark Laurrie says the district needs to fill three positions.“There’s no doubt that there’s a teacher shortage in Western New York, New York State, and across the country,” Laurrie says.The superintendent tells 7 News he has worked with the teachers union to devise a plan.“We’ve spent time creating this model where a teacher would give up with additional compensation to cover an additional period or two if possible and or to split and take a class,” he says.Laurrie says this plan isn’t the best solution, but it’s a start.He also agrees that low pay plays a big part in the substitute teacher shortage, so he’s willing to negotiate.“We have to Niagara Falls have to be competitive at a $138 with all district from what I’m seeing that are playing upwards $165 to $180 a day,” Laurrie says. “We have to be competitive. The economy outside of the school district is dictating that.”Unlike Laurrie’s school district, the Superintendent of Sherman Central School District, Carrie Yohe, says the district is not struggling to fill those teaching positions.“All of our vacancies are full at this time, so we are good to go,” she says.Yohe says the district had to make several changes to meet the need.“So we looked at what our non-certified subs have two years of education of associates degree,” Yohe says. “And we’ve changed that to a non-certified substitute teacher doesn’t have to have those two years.”While Sherman has filled its positions, Mark Laurrie in Niagara Falls says it’s been challenging when it comes to hiring.“We’re really focusing on recruiting teachers of color with the belief that our kids need to see professionals that are in front of them that look like them,” Laurrie says. “So it’s a much more complicated process of just saying find someone and hire them.”For more information on the open substitute positions or if you’re interested in applying, click here.

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