Arlington schools substitute teachers demand higher hourly wages

Substitute teachers in one Northern Virginia community are demanding a higher hourly wage.

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A group called Arlington Parents for Education told FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan Thursday, that Arlington Public Schools substitutes often earn less money per hour "than entry-level big-box store employees or teens hired by local soccer organizations to referee games."

Their statement went on to say, "Both our students and our teachers need the support of quality substitutes, which higher pay would advance. Currently, APS has many long-term and school-based sub openings. Meanwhile, administration-level costs have skyrocketed. Students deserve prioritization in budgeting and recruitment efforts. Teachers and substitutes deserve prioritization in compensation and benefits."

Substitute teachers according to Arlington Public Schools are being paid $15.59 and a school-based substitute who reports to a specific school daily is paid $16.45 per hour or $115.12 a day. 

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Khan also looked at the pay for a soccer referee and according to Arlington Soccer, a referee is being paid anywhere from $16 to $35.

In Loudoun County Public Schools, substitute teachers and librarians are being paid $16.10 per hour which is about 51 cents more than what a substitute teacher is being paid in Arlington.

We also looked into Fairfax County Public Schools, and according to publicly available online documents, substitute teachers are getting paid $14.79 which comparatively is less than what substitute teachers are being paid hourly in Arlington and Loudoun counties.

"I feel like all teachers whether full-time or substitute should get paid a lot more," said Juliana Klesius an Arlington Public Schools parent.

"Where is that coming from? Like who is making the decision? So let’s definitely make some changes there for sure.

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"I think it’s terrible and definitely underappreciated and undervalued that teachers are not paid enough," said Arlington resident, Josh Hoppel.

Khan reached out to spokespersons for Fairfax County Public Schools about the hourly pay they give their substitutes but we did not receive a response.

APS spokesperson Frank Bellavia said APS is "constantly recruiting and hiring substitutes and currently have a pool of 602 substitute teachers."

He also said that APS is aligned with neighboring school divisions when it comes to substitute compensation.