Gov. Cox allows state employees to step-in as substitute teachers

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox issued an executive order on Monday permitting state employees to take approved leave time from their state job to fill staffing gaps in a Utah public or private school.

“The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has brought an unprecedented wave of absenteeism among teachers and education staff and labor shortages are exacerbating the problem,” a press release from the governor’s office states.

“Giving state employees the option to substitute teach, help in the cafeteria or perform others needed duties will ensure schools can continue to provide in-person learning experiences.”

The order grants state employees up to 30 hours of paid administrative leave in order to work as a substitute between now and the end of June 2022.

Employees who choose to participate must go through a district or school hiring process which includes passing a background check.

“We know that kids learn best in the classroom, so we want to do what we can to help schools stay open. Our teachers and our children deserve our support during this difficult phase of the pandemic,” Gov. Cox said. “We hope many of the state’s 22,000 employees will take advantage of this opportunity to help our schools.”

At a recent Park City School District Board meeting, co-president of the Park City Education Association Mary Morgan advocated for higher substitute pay, given their current labor shortage.


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