GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — A central Nebraska school district is doling out inventive pay to persuade local substitute teachers to work for the district instead of other area schools.

Grand Island Public Schools’ incentive program went into effect retroactively on Nov. 1, The Grand Island Independent reported.

Teachers will receive a $150 incentive in addition to the regular substitute pay if they work a minimum number of days each month, said Wayne Stelk, the district’s executive director of human resources.

The requirement varies each month depending on holidays, semester breaks and other factors. The requirement ranges from 12 days in December and May to 18 days in April. There’s no sliding scale to compensate teachers who don’t work the minimum amount, Stelk said.

The district has been having a more difficult time finding substitute teachers, Stelk said.

“Our numbers seem to be holding about the same as far as the number of subs in our pool, but it seems that they’re also taking jobs in other school districts,” Stelk said. “Oftentimes, we find that the subs we have registered with us have accepted jobs in other school districts and they’re not available to substitute with us.”

There are times throughout the school year when school districts in central Nebraska all require substitute teachers on the same day, Stelk said. Events such as sports or fine arts competitions mean teachers from multiple school districts will be absent, increasing demand for substitutes, he said. The incentive program aims to ensure the district has substitutes available to cover classes on such days.

The program is expected to cost the district about $26,000 this school year.

Information from: The Grand Island Independent,

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