Staffing shortages continue to make dining out, shopping, and even educating children of the Quad Cities more difficult, as the Omicron variant continues to rampage across the community, re-enforcing the need for more employees.

Schools in particular say there’s a crippling need for not just more teachers, but more substitute teachers. The Moline Coal-Valley School District approved a plan that would financially incentivize people to apply for substitute-teaching positions. Superintendent Rachel Savage says this new program should attract more applicants, while promoting substitute retention rates.

“We want highly qualified substitute teachers to be able to serve our students so that the educational process can continue,” Savage said.

Substitute teachers who participate in the program can earn up to $1200 in addition to their regular pay — this is accumulated through $300 bonuses awarded for every additional 20 days a substitute fills-in ($300 for 20 days, another $300 when the individual reaches 40 days, and so on.) 

Despite the monetary aspect of this incentive, Savage says the district will maintain a heavy screening process for all applicants to ensure it hires qualified, dedicated people.

“We conduct interviews. We want to make sure they are student-centered, that they have the qualifications they need to be in front of our students in the classroom,” Savage said.