The Pleasant Valley School District's board of directors all agree something must be done about the shortage of substitute teachers.
Bringing up an ongoing discussion at Thursday night's board meeting, director Len Peeters said he understands that in the last two days, the district had to pull specialist teachers in to substitute again.
"I believe we need to offer our substitutes $105 a day and after they have substituted 30 consecutive days, a $500 bonus and I feel we need to do it now. The kids aren't getting what they need. I'm here to see our students get the best. I make a motion we vote to make that increase tonight," he said.
Director Robert Serfass seconded the motion.
Currently, PV pays $80 a day to its substitutes.
Director Susan Kresge said she wouldn't like to see the raise in pay that high.
"I thought we'd have more time to make this decision," she said.
Peters countered that they have been discussing it for months.
Carole Geary, PV's superintendent, told the board that it wasn't budgeted for an increase for this year.
"I'm on the financial committee and I didn't know we were going to discuss it tonight or vote on it," said board member Dominick Sacci.
Dan Wunder, a board member, said he supported the motion as made but would like more time to discuss the matter before voting on it.
After quickly working out the math, Geary said that at a $100 a day at the rate of how many substitutes they would need until the end of the school year it would roughly cost the district an additional $180,000.
Peeters said that the principals see the need and are the ones who take the heat.
"If we do it now, we can see by the end of the school year if the increase worked or not. I'd like to see the rate be $105 a day because it is $5 more than Pocono Mountain School District pays its substitutes and it would be an incentive for them to come to PV instead. If we have to go to $100, that would be okay," he said.
"I'll reiterate it again. I started the conversation so that we could budget it for next year. I don't want to recommend a $25 increase that is not budgeted.," Geary responded.
Board member H. Charles Hoffman made a motion to table the discussion and Sacci seconded it.
Board vice president Steve Borger said he would like to see more discussion on it as did Wunder.
Board member Linda Miklos agreed with Peters. "I don't think we should put this off."
A vote was taken on tabling the discussion and it passed, 7-2, with Peters and board president Russ Gould voting no.