Charleston County School District Leans on Parents in Substitute Teacher Shortage

October 18, 2017, 9:44 am EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (BILL BURR, WTAT-TV) — There is a shortage of substitute teachers in Charleston County and that has school leaders reaching out to parents to help recruit qualified candidates.

About 3,200 teachers are in charge of educating the Charleston County School District’s 50,000 students.

School leaders admit there’s a shortage of substitute teachers throughout the county because of new full-time hires over the summer

“It’s a good problem to have in that we were able to add 119 teacher positions back to the classroom across the district with this budget. But again, that will create a need for more substitutes over the course of the year,” said Andy Pruitt, Director of Communications and Technology for the Charleston County School District.

School district officials also believe an improved local economy is attracting candidates to full-time, private sector jobs. Certified substitute teachers are paid $80 a day. Non-certified ones receive $64 a day. Public school advocates say that isn’t enough.

“We’re paying $8 an hour right now. You can’t get a babysitter for $8 an hour for one child and you’ve got 25, 30 kids and you’re supposed to be trying to teach them something and keep order, I don’t know why anyone does show up for $8 an hour. It’s pathetic,” said Patrick Hayes, a Charleston County teacher and public education advocate.

School leaders contend the pay rate is already established in the district’s budget and its competitive with other schools. Still, Patrick Hayes thinks more can be done.

“It’s called supply and demand. And when your supply of teachers is low and your demand is high, you’re going to need to pay them more,” he said.

Charleston County school officials say the outside agency in charge of hiring substitute teachers is doing what it can to attract and retain quality people to help educate students.

“There are other incentives that are put in if you’re a long-term sub. There are other financial incentives that are put in place so we definitely ask that people look into that as well,” Pruitt said.

If you are interested in a substitute teacher position you can call Kelly Services at 843-747-4826 or send an email to