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Duval County substitute teacher believes pay doesn't correlate to the workload subs face

Barbara Brown said she made around $120 a day as a sub during the height of COVID-19. She thinks subs deserve to be paid more given their workload.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The days of cleaning up spilled milk and going over lesson plans are over for substitute teachers. 

"When COVID hit, that substitute teacher in essence became a full-time substitute teacher," Duval County substitute teacher, Barbara Brown, said. 

"I was actually in a math class and the teacher left, and they offered me his position, however I explained to them that I had no background in math. They were so desperate for teachers that they were like you can come in and we'll teach you and that just didn't sit right with me."

Brown still had to clean up the spilled milk, but she also had to create lesson plans. All on a substitute teacher's salary. 

She said she made around $120 a day while she was a sub. 

"How is that incentive to take someone like myself who has the background in education and convince me to become a full-time teacher?" Brown said. 

Brown has a masters in education. She believes subs deserve to be paid more given their increased workload during and after the pandemic. 

During Brown's interview with First Coast News she was made aware that ESS, the company contracted to hire subs in Jacksonville, and Duval County Public Schools amended their contract to increase pay for subs

A substitute with a bachelor's degree or higher would make $140 a day. An increase from the $94 a day offered last year. 

Credit: Barbara Brown

For Brown, it's a step in the right direction, but still not enough.

"Why can't it just be across board?" Brown said. "Why can't a substitute teacher have a base pay and leave it at that what's the difference? Teachers have someone to advocate for them, they have the teachers union who advocates for the substitute teachers? No one."

As of July 8, Duval County Public Schools says it had 512 teaching vacancies. 

Credit: DCPS

DCPS says it hopes to have a current update on the vacancies at the end of the week.

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