Substitute teaching jobs going unfilled, but administrators deny students are left alone

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SAGINAW (WJRT) (2/28/2018) - Substitute teaching assignments in Saginaw Public Schools are going unfilled, putting more pressure on teachers and other staff who have to juggle work.

The substitute teaching shortage is problem across the Michigan and the United States. The problems reached a head at Saginaw High School this week.

A Facebook post by a woman asks for parents to call the school, complaining that students have been left to fend for themselves. She claims students have been left with no supervision and they are not receiving assignments.

The school district issued a statement Tuesday refuting the woman's claims: "Due to a shortage of substitute teachers within the region, there are cases when substitute teaching assignments are not filled, however, the students are still provided with a structured supervised setting to complete the objectives for the day. This is not a common occurrence."

Saginaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Kathy Stewart acknowledged the substitute teaching shortage is causing trouble.

"Its very alarming," she said.

Stewart denies that students are being left on their own inside Saginaw High School.

"Students are never by themselves," she said. "We are required to supervise students, so I want to make that clear, whether they are in auditorium, in the cafeteria as a group or a large classroom as a group, there are adults present supervising the students."

Stewart said the improving economy has reduced the pool of people willing to take on substitute teaching assignments. She pointed out some full-time teaching jobs are going unfilled.

"Educators over the past few years haven't been treated with as much respect as they have earned and should be treated with," Stewart said. "I think fewer and fewer students are going into education at the colleges and universities."

Anyone interested in becoming a substitute teacher can get more information on any school district's website.

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