New Hires Aren't Enough: The Effort to End DeKalb's Substitute Shortage Continues

Despite hiring 69 new substitute teachers, DeKalb County Schools District’s fill rate

remains at around 70 percent.

The fill rate, or the percentage of absences filled by substitutes, has not changed since The Legend covered substitute shortages in November.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution wrote an article in January comparing DeKalb’s fill rate to other school districts in Metro Atlanta, such as Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, and Atlanta Public Schools. DeKalb has historically obtained a substitute fill rate of 71 percent while the rest of Metro Atlanta has fill rates averaging at 85 percent. “[How far I know my schedule in advance depends because] I determine my own schedule, so it’s left entirely up to me.” said substitute teacher Elaine Boyer.

DeKalb posted six substitute teacher job openings, while Gwinnett, Cobb, and Atlanta Public Schools have only posted one position each. Fulton County doesn’t have any posted. Fulton pays their subs an average of $28,530 a year, the highest out of the five school districts the Atlanta-Journal Constitution covered. “Due to the high volume of applications received, Fulton County Schools does not provide individual application status via phone or email. Only complete applications will be considered for employment.” said a county representative.

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