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Gov. Newsom makes hiring temporary school staff easier with executive order

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Posted at 7:40 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 22:40:18-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Governor Gavin Newsom's latest executive order is making it easier for school districts to hire temporary staff amid shortages due to COVID.

"On a given day, we’ve had anywhere from 9 to 12% of our teaching staff out sick or quarantine," said Christine Paik, Chief Communications Officer of Poway Unified School District.

"Definitely staffing absences and student absences like we’ve never seen before," said David Feliciano, La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Superintendent.

Even before the latest surge, school districts faced staffing shortages and have been relying on substitute teachers and retired educators to help fill the need.

"We have a former principal well-loved in our school district. He’s been retired for several years now, and he’s come back to help as a fill-in principal," said Paik.

Governor Gavin Newsom's executive order includes lowering state barriers that could delay hiring qualified substitute teachers, as well as allowing subs to have their assignments extended.

"With the governor‘s latest order, it’s even easier to get the substitute teacher in our classroom and really help us out with the shortage," Paik said.

The order also provides additional flexibility to support retired teachers who have returned to the classroom and eliminates barriers that may prevent additional retired teachers from returning.

Feliciano said half of his subs are retirees.

Until now, educators who re-entered the workforce were restricted in how much they could earn and what positions they could do.

"It really would benefit us; as much as we can get our retired teachers in here, the better. They know our schools and our kids," said Feliciano.

Both Feliciano and Paik said retirees and subs are partly why they're able to continue safe, in-person instruction.

"Our teachers and our subs, everyone working in our schools right now they’re just heroes. They’re keeping kids in school, which is so, so critical," said Feliciano.

The flexibilities provided under the order expire on March 31, 2022.