Cobb schools temporarily increases pay for substitute teachers, nurses

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Mill Creek High School Nurse Candy Fleming talks about how her routine as a school nurse has changed since COVID-19. Video by Alyssa Pointer

Beginning this week, individuals working in some substitute positions in the Cobb County School District are eligible for pay increases.

The benefit is available to substitute teachers, supply teachers, substitute nurses and supply nurses, according to a district news release.

The announcement comes as school districts across metro Atlanta are facing a shortage of nurses and teachers due to the upsurge in COVID-19. In some cases staff are sick or in quarantine and there aren’t enough substitutes to fill their slots.

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Fourteen metro area districts documented more than 24,000 cases of COVID-19 in the first few weeks of the school year. The Cobb school system recorded more than 2,600 cases in August.

The daily rate for Cobb’s substitute teachers will increase to $189 temporarily, while the rate for supply teachers will increase to $212. Substitute nurses and supply nurses will receive a temporary hourly rate increase by $4 per hour, the district said.

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“Whether they are part-time, temporary, or full time, every Team member can change a student’s life,” Chief Human Resources Officer Keeli Bowen said in a written statement.

The increases are available through May. The district said funding for the raises are coming from federal coronavirus relief monies.

Area school systems are also facing a severe shortage of bus drivers. Many districts are offering signing or retention bonuses, including Cobb.