Salt Lake City Schools Facing Substitute Teacher Shortage

Feb 23, 2021, 6:33 PM | Updated: 7:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After spending most of their school year online, Salt Lake City School District reopened classrooms for in-person learning two weeks ago. And now, the district has a substitute teacher problem.

“We have about 100 (substitute teachers), and that’s about half of what we usually do,” said Yandary Chatwin, SLCSD spokesperson.

It’s such a problem at East High School that a handful of classes didn’t have any teachers and the school had to move students into the auditorium for supervised learning — similar to a study hall.

The move infuriated parents like Melissa Hardy when she found out.

“It’s so disappointing and unacceptable,” she said.

Hardy added that parents are at their wits end with the school district after a year filled with tumultuous relations between board members, teachers and students.

She said it’s time for the district to figure out how to attract more substitutes and make sure their children are getting quality education in case their teachers need time off.

“To be honest with you, the sub shortage was a problem before the pandemic and it has been exacerbated by COVID-19,” Chatwin said.

She added teachers have the right to call out sick or take time off. The safety protocols around COVID-19, like quarantining, have made the problem worse. The district has increased pay for substitute teachers, but not many people have submitted applications.

Despite the substitute teacher debacle, Chatwin said the return to the classroom has been mostly successful and they have had a very low count of COVID-19 cases.

The district is exploring the idea of opening for in-person learning possibly five days a week, but the Salt Lake City Board of Education would need to approve this decision.

No proposals have been formally introduced.

If you would like to help out the school district by becoming a substitute teacher, click here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Identity theft is a multi-billion dollar crime every year in the United States - it's never been mo...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: Utah man share ID Theft warning signs he says he missed

Identity theft is a multi-billion dollar crime every year in the United States - it's never been more rampant.

1 day ago

FILE — Handcuffs in a jail cell. FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Michael Houck

4 men arrested for pointing rifle barrel out car window on SR-189, police say

Four men were arrested for allegedly pointing the barrel of an AR-15 at cars while driving under the influence Sunday.

1 day ago


Cassidy Wixom, KSL.com and Andrew Adams, KSL TV

1 shot, injured by motorcyclist in possible road rage incident on I-15, troopers say

Police are searching for a person who shot at a vehicle, injuring one person, while riding a motorcycle on I-15 Monday afternoon.

1 day ago

The scene of the crash on Friday in Garden City after a semi-truck crashed into it. (KSL TV)...

Mike Anderson

After 8 semi crashes, Garden City residents are frustrated

Residents of Garden City are frustrated after a total of eight semi trucks have barreled through an intersection near Bear Lake after losing their breaks, including the most recent one Friday.

1 day ago

A man who slipped and fell into Gunlock Falls on Sunday was saved by bystanders who pulled him from...

Ladd Egan

Good Samaritans jump into action, perform CPR after man falls into Gunlock Falls

A man who slipped and fell into Gunlock Falls on Sunday was saved by bystanders who pulled him from the water and performed CPR.

1 day ago

The "Show Up" service event in Thanksgiving Point. (KSL TV)...

Shara Park

‘Show Up’ for service event encourages summer volunteering

Hundreds of Utahns gathered at Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point Monday night for the Show Up for Summer Service family fair hosted by First Lady Abby Cox.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Salt Lake City Schools Facing Substitute Teacher Shortage