"We were really insulted": DCPS subs say pay increase is not enough
Substitute teachers in the Washington, D.C. public school system protested on Monday a pay increase that Mayor Muriel Bowser announced last week, calling it insufficient.
Why it matters: The dozen or so protesters said that the $2 hourly wage increase, which was intended to attract more substitute teachers, falls short, Axios’ Erin Doherty writes.
Driving the news: "It felt like we were disrespected, and then they showed us that we really were not appreciated it," Lydia Curtis, who has been a substitute teacher for four years, said outside the Wilson Building, the center of D.C. government.
- Bowser and D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee last week raised the pay for daily substitute teachers serving less than 30 days in a school year from $15.20 to $17 an hour.
- The protesters, carrying signs that read, "$2 increase?!? Insulting," among other phrases, are also asking the city for better benefits, including health insurance and legal protection.
- "The system as a whole is set up to be very disrespectful to substitute teachers," Curtis said.
The big picture: The pressure from substitute teachers to raise their wages comes as the school district faces staffing shortages due to COVID-19 and a waning substitute teacher pool.
- DCPS experienced a 22% decrease in substitute teachers from the 2019-2020 school year to this school year, Axios' Paige Hopkins reports.
- Substitute teachers on Jan. 10 held a "Day of Absence" to demand higher pay and better benefits.
The mayor's office did not immediately return a request for comment.
What to watch: D.C. substitute teachers and the Washington Teachers' Union have a joint rally planned for Feb. 7 to push for higher wages.
Go deeper: D.C.-area schools face sub shortage
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