By:  Ernie Wren

The Southern Boone School District, like districts nationwide, needs quality substitute teachers, along with people to fill other teaching and staff positions. Missouri Governor Mike Parson recently signed legislation that will allow retired teachers to substitute teach for more hours without risk of harming their pension benefits. “School districts across the region are actively looking for substitutes, said Nicola Soares, president of Kelly Education, a company that contracts for substitute teachers in St. Louis and nationally. “I would characterize it [demand] as crushing,” Soares said. “It has soared, skyrocketed, as a result of full-time teachers leaving the classroom.”  Soares said the need for substitute teachers is closely linked to the ongoing teacher shortage. With fewer teachers to cover classes, schools rely on substitutes to do even more. “The systemic issues are really around full-time teachers,” she added. “I call this a national crisis. We have to take a look at this issue because if we don’t solve this and look at things like elevating teacher salaries, you know, giving more support resources where it’s needed, that has a long-term impact on student achievement.” (

See more in this weeks Boone County Journal