News

Pay raise eyed for permanent substitutes

Thursday, September 27, 2012

By KATHY CLEVELAND

Staff Writer

MILFORD – School officials are considering a request to double the pay for some highly qualified permanent substitute teachers.

Peter Lippitt, a Milford substitute teacher, went before the board last week to ask that district policy be revised so that some regular substitute teachers can earn $125 a day rather than the current $65.

Lippitt said he is a graduate of MIT and worked 100 days as a substitute last year, almost all at Milford Middle School, where he also does extensive volunteer work.

“Substitute teaching is not just a job,” he said, describing his qualifications to teach math and science and foreign languages and recent recommendations from six middle school teachers.

He also said he is eligible for employment as a teacher in subjects on the state’s critical shortage list, which includes special education, mathematics and science. His scores on teacher certification exams in math, writing and reading, he said, were well above passing.

“Teachers and children all benefit from an experienced substitute,” he said. “Last year I could name nearly every child in the middle school.”

“I am requesting that substitutes, such as I, who have been determined by the state to be eligible for employment as a teacher, be paid $125 per day, rather than the current $65, when teaching in areas of their expertise. For me, that would include math, science, special ed, and reading and writing. I also have substituted frequently in phys ed, and rarely in Spanish, French, and art, but would only be paid the $65 for this work, as I am not specifically qualified to do so, even though I know the P.E. routines and I am their substitute of choice,” he said in a written statement.

Higher pay “would ensure availability of a quality substitute, consistency, and a person who would be knowledgeable about the lesson plans for classes (s)he was called to substitute in,” said Lippitt, calling the higher pay reasonable and justified.

“For the district, this would mean that instead of my being compensated a little over $6,000 for working half-time at the schools, my compensation would increase to close to $10,000,” he said. “Note that neither of these figures includes any benefits.”

Board members wanted more financial information and information on the number of substitute teachers who worked close to 100 days a year.

Superintendent of Schools Robert Suprenant said it is difficult to find qualified substitutes who can teach math and science in grades six through 12.

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