Tuesday, Gov. Kevin Stitt put out a call for state employees and businesses to sign up to serve as substitute teachers.
As of Thursday afternoon, 165 public employees had registered interest in stepping into the classroom.
News 9 went to Santa Fe South public charter schools, where the district’s leader is leaning into the governor’s call, to see how the application process works.
“Like everybody we’re finding ways to keep our doors open.” superintendent Chris Brewster said.
The application process is dominated by school policies, financial information, state and federal forms and a background check. The process took about 45 minutes to complete.
Applicants must also submit to off-site FBI background checks and finger printing, which costs about $55 but is reimbursed by the school.
“We don’t just need a babysitter we need people who really are there to help kids,” Brewster said.
According to the superintendent, at one point up to 23 percent of the district’s faculty and staff were out due to the virus. He says that has them reaching out like never before to recruit substitute teachers.
“We pay through a tiered level, for example, the highest paid tier is a certified teacher, and we are able to go all the way down to folks who graduated high school,” Brewster said.
He said the need is great because he believes, despite the virus and staff shortages, the best place for kids is in the classroom
“These kids, they love adults. They love learning,” Brewster said. “They want to know if you love them as well. If you just walk in and say ‘I’m here to help you guys,’ I think you’re going to find it’s an outstanding experience for you and the kids both.”
Brewster said the process from application to approval to substitute teach has been taking between one and two weeks.