Mayor Bowser has promised DC substitute teachers a raise. They haven’t received it yet.


The delay is the latest in the clash between city leaders and substitute teachers at a time when substitutes are in high demand.

Months after DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a pay raise for the city’s substitute teachers, substitutes still haven’t seen their paychecks hike.

Bowser first announced an increase in January and said an even higher rate would be offered beginning Feb. 7. However, DC substitute teacher Janine Fitzpatrick told WTOP that nothing has changed.

DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee told an education budget hearing last week that technical issues with extra pay caused the delay, but said all replacements would be paid retroactively.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the school system said the city regrets the delay “and will advise affected substitute teachers of next steps as soon as possible.”

The delay is the latest in the clash between city leaders and substitute teachers at a time when substitutes are in high demand.

In January, Bowser announced that daily substitute teachers would receive a pay increase from $15.20 an hour to $17 an hour.

Then the Washington Substitute Teachers United group rallied outside the Wilson Building, calling the increase a “slap in the face”. So in February, Bowser said the rate would change “up to $20 per hour for a regular daily replacement and $25 per hour for a long-term replacement who will be teaching for… at least 30 days. consecutively in our classrooms”.

However, substitute teachers have yet to see their checks increase. In January, DCPS said its replacement pool had 521 people.

Fitzpatrick, a substitute teacher at Alice Deal Middle School, said she asked school system staff when the increase would take effect, but was only told the salary would be retroactive to the date of the announcements. . The only form of communication she said she received from the city was an email announcing the initial salary increase in January.

A council spokeswoman said council member Christina Henderson recently spoke to a group of substitute teachers and heard they still hadn’t received the pay raise.

“(The mayor) could promise us $1,000 a day, but if she doesn’t follow through on all of that, then it’s just empty promises,” Fitzpatrick said. “…She can say whatever she wants – it’s important that she actually does it.”

During the March 30 education budget hearing, council chairman Phil Mendelson, after calling the city’s school system communication a “chronic problem,” asked Ferebee why an update had not been provided to substitute teachers.

“I’ve communicated this directly to the reps, but we’ll be launching another communication network with the substitutes to make sure they’re aware,” Ferebee said. “…We recognize that the delay has been a hardship for them and we are working as hard as we can to get these funds to them.”

In a statement late Friday, a spokesperson for the schools said, “DC Public Schools greatly appreciates the contributions of our substitute teachers, who provide essential support to our schools and joyful learning experiences for our students. We are working quickly to resolve a delay in implementing recent pay increases and providing retroactive pay to those affected.

Fitzpatrick, for his part, is looking forward to it.

“We follow through on our promises,” Fitzpatrick said. “We say we’re going in and we do, even though we still haven’t received the salary she promised us.”


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