Tuesday, September 20, 2022

It's a body in the room

 It’s a body in the room


Many school districts started the school year with unfilled position.  They tried using substitutes, admin staff, even other school professionals.  Vacancies were still there.  So, they went in a very different way.

The districts entered into agreements with contract agencies to get rent-a-teachers.   These people are paid by the school system but there are “owned” by the contract agency that gets a commission from the district or a cut from the teacher’s pay.   These rent-a-teachers are paid extremely well, usually in the six figures. Some of them are not even certified.  They are not really school district employees so they do not receive benefits. The school districts argue that since these people do not receive benefits their salaries are commensurate with what school employees are getting.

Staff teachers do not see it that way.  From their perspective, they have bargained for higher salaries, been told there was no money and now these strangers are getting lots more money.

To rub even more salt into the wound, rent-a-teachers do not need to attend staff meetings, after school meetings, professional development meetings or anything else besides being a body in the room.

There is lots of downside to this emergency plan.   It further destroys staff morale who are not comfortable with strangers coming in and making lots more money.  The people who come in have little to no commitment to the students or to the school district.  They are in essence, temp workers.   School districts cannot hire them as full-time staff.

They are not familiar with the curriculum.  Since they do not need to attend any professional development, they do not know the course requirements or what came before and what is coming next.

And the kids know they are not “real teachers”.   How do the kids know?  They know because they know who belongs and who doesn’t.

All-in-all how do students benefit from this plan?   How do school employees feel about this plan?  

So, cui bono? Who benefits?  The school district gets to have a body in the room.  And that says it all.

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