Substitute teacher shortages at LTISD result in proposed permanent positions

Lake Travis ISD officials proposed launching permanent substitute teacher positions during a July 15 board meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Travis ISD officials proposed launching permanent substitute teacher positions during a July 15 board meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lake Travis ISD officials proposed launching permanent substitute teacher positions during a July 15 board meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

There was not a single day during the 2019-20 school year that one of Lake Travis ISD’s 11 campuses did not require a substitute teacher.

This is according to Evalene Murphy, the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources, who said during a July 15 board meeting that despite frequent staff reports of substitute shortages, LTISD employs a larger pool of substitute teachers than neighboring districts.

To combat this challenge, LTISD is proposing hiring 22 full-time substitute teachers to allocate two per campus.

Each substitute would be assigned a “home campus,” where they would report every day for a proposed daily rate of $150—a rate Murphy called competitive when compared with nearby districts.

The additional positions would cost the district a total of $190,000 or less, which Muprhy explained is already allocated within the annual substitute teacher budget.

Districtwide there is about one substitute available for every 38 students, yet campuses such as Bee Cave Middle School reported facing shortages an average of 11 times per month during the 2019-20 school year.

Murphy said this is mostly due to the small window between when teachers call out of work and the start of the school day.

“The difficulty with obtaining a substitute is same-day call-ins,” Murphy said. “That’s actually the largest inhibitor to getting those positions filled.”

As a former teacher himself, Superintendent Brad Lancaster expressed support for the idea, as well as a majority of LTISD trustees, who are scheduled to vote on the matter during the August board meeting.
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


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