I have been reporting for a couple of years now on what many in the educational business is citing as a substitute teacher shortage.

Our legislature has been attempting to address this issue through laws which would make it easier for retired teachers to become substitute teachers on a temporary basis without affecting their social security or pension.

There are other laws looking to allow people who have a high school diploma or equivalency and hold a professional license or certification issued by the state in the field they are looking to become a substitute teacher in.

Those laws may all be a good way to deal with this substitute teacher crisis but I always attempt to look at the root problem, if one exist, instead of attempting to correct the symptoms.

The question that must be answered in my mind before we attempt to tackle the substitute teacher problem is why are so many substitute teachers needed?

Is it due to the chronically absent teacher problem we have in Michigan?

In the report titled “Teacher Absenteeism in Charter and Traditional Public Schools” they state:

The percentage of teachers in traditional public schools who take more than ten sick and personal days is almost four times higher than the percentage of employees in other industries who take at least ten sick days—despite the fact that teachers have significantly fewer work days than employees in other industries

Is it due to the amount of professional days teachers are required to take?

Is it due to teacher’s often getting sick due to the nature of being around so many children?

Do we truly have a lack of substitute teachers or too many teachers being absent?

So often in life and especially in government we attempt to fix symptoms of a problem instead of the problem itself.

So again I ask why are so many substitute teachers needed in Michigan?

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