for the Duneland Schools will be paid a higher daily rate, the first
increase in about two decades.
Or at least in the
last 13 years, according to Duneland Schools Superintendent David Pruis who
recommended the school board raise the rate from $60 to $70 for substitute
teachers having a substitute permit but not a teacher’s license, and from
$70 to $80 for those with a teaching license.
“The rate has been
the same as long as I have been at Duneland,” Pruis said.
The board voted 4-0
to approve the new amounts. Absent from the meeting Monday was member Ronald
Prior to the vote,
Duneland Teachers Association Co-President Michele Bartels read aloud a
statement addressing the “dismal reduction in available substitute
teachers,” attributing the stagnant pay as part of the reason for the
“Twenty years! We
want people to come in and work with our children at the same rate that was
earned two decades ago? There may be additional reasons for the sub
shortage, but this one sticks out like a sore thumb,” Bartels said in her
statement to the board.
Bartels said that
secretaries, principal and cafeteria aides have been monitoring classrooms
to cover for absent teachers when a sub cannot be found. These situations
have happened “in all grade levels and all buildings in the corporation,”
according to Bartels.
shuffle” has also been troubling to teachers who create plans for subs then
find there was no sub available to teach the class, said Bartels who added
this “wastes time for teachers and students.”
The shortage has
been a topic of DTA meetings with the superintendent for a couple of years
now, Bartels said, and the past two years “have been particularly difficult”
as subs’ weekly hours have been restricted to avoid additional health care
costs of the Affordable Care Act.
Bartels said she
guesses the sub pay at Duneland has stayed at $60 because that has been the
pay at all other schools in Porter County to eliminate unfair competition
between smaller schools and larger schools, but she was surprised when she
heard that the Boone Twp. School Board last week agreed to give a $10 per
day pay increase.
Pruis said East
Porter County Schools has also raised its pay to $70 and $80 a day, making
Duneland the third school corporation to do so.
Kristin Kroeger said she found it interesting in discovering earlier Tuesday
that Duneland has paid $100 for people staffing sporting events compared to
what it pays substitutes.
“I had a little
disconnect in my head on that,” she said.
Marshall said with
the schools in the county paying subs the same, to raise the daily rate is
“a very tough decision to make.” He agreed with Kroeger that the sports
workers being paid more than the teachers “doesn’t seem right.”
we’re going to have to take a look at,” he said.
Board member Mike
Trout said “it’s a point well taken,” agreeing the pay amount for sports
events needs to be explored. He made a motion to accept the administration’s
recommendation to increase the daily pay for subs as the board reevaluates
Kroeger inquired if
the board could decide to further increase the rate if it wished to. Pruis
said the board could change it if it preferred.
Bartels told the
Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that she had expected the board to
raise the rate to the same level as EPCSC and Boone school corporation, but
hopes the board increases it even more.
The cost of living
adjustment from 20 years ago would put the $60 per day rate at $91.54, she
Bartels hopes the
change will help reduce the substitute shortage.
“It’s been bad this
year,” she said.
Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz reported this morning that $267,000 is the
amount Duneland has paid out in certified sub costs this past year.
In other matters,
Duneland principals made introductions of new educators hired at their
schools, including three new guidance counselors.
will be a counselor for Brummitt Elementary, Elizabeth Martin for Jackson
Elementary and Amy Snyder for Bailly Elementary.
comes from Crown Point High School, is a graduate of Chesterton High School.
graduate, Taylor Ricks, will join the high school next school year as an art
teacher. Ricks has had her art shown on the Discovery Channel, CHS principal
Jeff Van Drie noted.
“I started my
passion for art at Chesterton,” Ricks said.
Chesterton as her home, Amber Robinson will teach second grade at Yost
“It’s a dream come
true. I love to be a part of Yost,” she said.
Gena Davis from
Merrillville High School will teach sixth grade at Westchester Intermediate.
Jendrzejczk has been hired as a summer school English teacher at CHS.
Mitzi Burris will
be a student accounts clerk at CHS. Abigail Chavez will be an instructional
aide at WIS and Megan Goodman will be a custodian for Duneland.
Rob Yong and Kevin
Murray will help out with sound/lighting at CHS.
In coaching, Jordan
Nelson will coach Girls Varsity Golf at CHS and Tommy Berry will be the
assistant golf coach for the girls.
month include elementary teacher Carrie Demmon, CHS business teacher Scott
Truelove, Jackson Elementary first grade teacher Kayla Prow, Bailly
Elementary Title 1 aide Colleen Grimes, CMS 8th Grade track coach Allison
Yagodnik, and CHS Sound/Light technician Trevor Wright.
Liberty Elementary to CHS is Art teacher Colin May. Family and Consumer
Sciences teacher Mary Ann Martin is transferring from Bailly Elementary to
Rugg commended the
board on the effort to put guidance counselors at each of its elementary
schools. Kroeger said the support of the community through the school
referendum made it possible.