Del Mar school district takes over substitute teacher consortium, raises compensation


The Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD) has taken over the management of the North County Coastal Substitute Consortium following the district’s expressed concerns with the way the shallow substitute pool was run and to help deal with a substitute teacher shortage.

The consortium is made up of the five local districts, including Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas and Cardiff. Encinitas Union School District had previously managed the consortium.

The first change in the consortium will be to raise the substitute compensation. The DMUSD voted on Dec. 10 to increase the rates from $100 a day to $120.

“The district pays near the bottom of all substitute teacher rates in the county,” said Jason Romero, DMUSD assistant superintendent of human resources.

In the 2013-14 school year, DMUSD raised the rates from $90 to $100 a day.Elsewhere in the county, San Diego Unified School District pays its subs as much as $150 a day.

Romero said based on their assumptions and conversations with other districts they believe that a sub would take an assignment with the consortium and then cancel, likely because they found a position that paid them higher.

The overall additional cost to the district is tough to gauge Romero said, but they typically have four to six days of teacher training and they can historically predict a teacher misses about five additional days. For those nine days it would be a 20 percent increase of about $36,000, representing just about $216,000 total.

As the new facilitator of the consortium, Romero said they would like to revamp the system used to coordinate substitutes, allowing them to track substitutes available in other districts.

Romero said in taking over the consortium they would also like to create a different type of marketing model that would better showcase the benefit of being a part of a growing district to draw in more teachers.

“We are a highly desirable district to teach in and we have some of the best schools in the county in our consortium,” Romero said. “Substitutes within the consortium were the last two hirees we had (for new teaching positions at Sycamore Ridge and Torrey Hills).”

Trustee Alan Kholos remarked that it seems like the district has found a reasonable resolution to the substitute issues that have been reported to be “highly disruptive.”