QC school districts struggle to find substitute teachers

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EAST MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - Almost half way into the school year, districts in Iowa and Illinois are struggling to find substitute teachers. In the midst of cold and flu season, many schools fear the problem will only worsen.

In a survey conducted by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, statistics show schools have to cover more than 16,500 absences each week. However, schools aren't able to find substitutes for more than 3,000 of those absences. In Iowa, school districts are also struggling to fill the void. Clint Heitz with the Bettendorf School District said teachers are stretched thin to cover multiple classes.

"It's a lot of teamwork. a lot of collaboration," Heitz said. "We'll have teachers covering each other or subs pulling double duty where they're covering for half a day in one building and half a day in another."

A background in education is not required to become a substitute teacher. However, an individual will need a bachelor's degree or higher and complete a certification course. The Black Hawk College Outreach Center in East Moline will hold an informational meeting on Tuesday, November 14 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The session is free, but registration is required. Call BHC Professional and Continuing Education at (309) 796-8223 or register online at www.bhc.edu/pace.