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There's 'plentiful' need for substitute teachers in West MI as back to school looms

Staffing agency Edustaff said any sub 'could work five days a week.'

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Muskegon Public Schools has had its hands full only weeks before classes are set to resume for the new school year, dealing with the grips of the same persistent staffing shortages like most of the nation.

A shortage of substitutes may prove another stumbling block.

"Any substitute could work five days a week if they chose to do so," Fawn Jackson, who manages the Northern and Western Michigan regions for Edustaff related via Zoom Friday. 

The privately-owned staffing agency places substitutes in hundreds of school districts nationwide.

"The districts set the pay based on their own individual needs and unique situations. So many… are bumping up pay to be more competitive," she noted. 

Jackson estimated the regional average pay for substitutes had recently surged to around $115 a day.

Muskegon Public Schools told 13 ON YOUR SIDE they were paying slightly above and in some cases, beginning to offer benefit packages in an effort to attract fresh talent. 

A job posting circulating online noted substitutes contracted for 61 or more consecutive days could earn approximately $200/day, nearly double the standard rate. 

"The vast majority of assignments are unfilled, as opposed to years before," Jackson said. 

Edustaff was in the midst of a concerted recruiting effort at the time of publication Friday. 

Jackson said the process was reasonably straightforward, including a required two-hour workshop and several additional prerequisites candidates would need to fulfill. 

"I would encourage anybody," she related. "You just need a large amount of flexibility--things change... But also a love and a passion for working with kiddos."

To work as a substitute teacher in Michigan, candidates must have completed a minimum of 60 college credit hours. 

For more information, including a link to apply, visit Edustaff's website.

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