Petersburg School District school board members and Superintendent pose at a Feb. 13, 2018 board meeting. (left-right) Board President, Mara Lutomski, board member Janine Gibbons, Superintendent Erica Kludt-Painter, board member Jay Lister, board member Sarah Holmgrain, board member Cheryl File. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)

Petersburg School Board Tuesday night voted to increase pay to substitute teachers and aides at the district’s three schools. KFSK’s Angela Denning reports:

It’s been a long time coming, says to Superintendent Erica Kludt-Painter. She says it’s been eight years since pay has gone up for certified substitute teachers. Those are the ones with teaching degrees working as substitutes.

“We have some pretty dedicated certified teachers. We call them our volunteer brigade,” Kludt-Painter said. “A lot of retired teachers that stay in the community here that save our bacon a lot of the time.”

Board member Sarah Holmgrain agrees. She says the job is not an easy one when substitutes often don’t even know when they might be working:

“Recognizing that a lot of times those substitutes, it’s not always a planned substitute situation,” Holmgrain said. “A lot of times it’s, ‘Hey! Can you come to work in 45 minutes or half an hour because we have someone who’s gotten sick in the middle of the night and we need to fill their position.’ And so it’s us asking these people to drop everything on a moment’s notice to come fill in for a staff member.”

The school board voted to increase certified substitutes pay from $130 a day to $140 a day.

The board agreed to increase non-certified teachers from $95 a day to $100 a day. Those are substitutes with bachelor’s degrees and experience at the school.

The board also increased pay to classified aide substitutes by 75 cents per hour. The pay will go from $10.75 to $11.50 per hour.

Kludt-Painter says the district has been talking about these increases for years. She says it’s not a big difference but at least it’s something.

“Most people won’t work anywhere for $10.75–most adults–so it’s just time to recognize that I think,” Kludt-Painter said, “recognize those efforts a little more than we have.”

The pay increases will take affect when the school year starts this fall.