NJ school district doubles pay for teacher subs during pandemic
HAMMONTON — The township school district has doubled its daily pay for substitute teachers, according to multiple reports, as a number of staff members still are faced with the decision of returning to physical classrooms amid the pandemic.
As reported by The Press of Atlantic City, air filtration at the district's four schools are among main concerns for educators in the township.
The same report said HVAC systems within the Hammonton district do not include MERV-13 air filters, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The district includes more than 3,600 students in grades Pre-K through 12, typically with more than 250 classroom teachers, according to the district website.
Teachers are being required to instruct from their classrooms every day, while students are a hybrid schedule of a mixture of in-person and remote learning. On Wednesdays, all classes will be virtual.
Hammonton Education Association president Anthony Angelozzi told NJ.com that a number of staff had submitted requests for scheduling accommodations, which he said were denied August 28, the same day that a job posting for substitute teachers was posted, with the $225 daily compensation.
Substitute teachers previously were paid $90 a day if non-certified, or $10 more if certified, Angelozzi told News 12 New Jersey.
As of Thursday, a job posting for substitute nurses remained on the Hammonton Public Schools website, also with a daily rate of $225 compensation.
As outlined in the school district's official reopening plan, buildings will be cleaned daily with additional sanitizing and disinfecting completed on Wednesdays, when all students will be learning remotely.
Bathrooms will be sanitized multiple times throughout the day, and electrostatic sprayers have been purchased to clean and sanitize buildings and buses, according to the same reopening plan.
Classrooms are being kept to 50% capacity with 6 feet of separation between desks, the district plan said, while each classroom will have "3 plexiglass desk shields to provide additional separation of students, if needed."
The first day of classes for public school students in Hammonton is Tuesday, September 8. The next Board of Education meeting is set for two days later, according to the district website.