TSU homecoming results in Metro sub shortage - WSMV Channel 4

TSU homecoming results in Metro sub shortage

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Between the food, the fun and the football tens of thousands will be participating in Tennessee State University's homecoming celebration this weekend. 

What you may not realize is how many of those people will be Metro Schools teachers celebrating instead of teaching in the classrooms. 

"Historically, we have numbers somewhere between 900 and 1,200 in terms of the number of absence requests we get," said  Amber Tyus, the director of substitute teachers for Metro.  

The need for substitutes is so great, Metro is having its central office employees fill in on Friday. They are also encouraging members of the public to apply, saying they have more than enough work to go around. 

"We can guarantee them work every day. We need about 2,500 on the roster. Right now we have 1,200," said Tyus. 

So what's the big picture problem? Why is there a substitute shortage?

Tyus said the school system is now having to compete with companies like Uber and Lyft that offer more pay with fewer challenges. 

"It all sounds very enticing but its maybe not as lasting and doesn't offer the same rewards," said Tyus.   

Erick Huth, president of the Metro Nashville Education Association, is adamant that pay is the problem.

"It is absolutely because of money. Substitute teachers haven't had a raise in pay in 10 years," said Huth.

In an interview earlier this week, Channel 4 asked Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph if he planned to raise substitute teacher salaries, especially since he's now making more than the district's last two superintendents.   

"Yeah, I mean the goal is, it's a priority to look at our compensation packages," said Joseph.

Metro will hold a job fair for support staff like substitutes on Nov. 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at West End Middle Prep.

There will be a second job fair at the Martin Center for certified teachers on Dec. 6. Elementary teachers will interview from 4 to 5 p.m. and middle and high school teachers will interview from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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