LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) — The latest surge in COVID-19 is hitting East Texas school districts hard and many teachers and staff are absent because of the virus causing districts to have to use office staff to fill in.

Longview ISD and Arp ISD are just two of the many school districts actively recruiting, hiring, and training substitute teachers.

Today, at Longview ISD’s Education Support Center, about two dozen substitutes were registered and trained. The instructor put an emphasis on safety protocols for fire and weather emergency procedures – and Covid -19. Longview ISD substitutes are being paid $80 per day if they aren’t certified, and $100 a day if they are. There will be two more training sessions for the district on February 10 and March 10.

Arp ISD is also in desperate need of substitutes with today being the first time in years that they had to pull office staff to fill in for teachers.

“The spring time is when we tend to see a shortage in subs because we have so many events going on and all the extra curricular activities require some of our teacher coaches to be out…and we need people,” said superintendent Shannon Arrington.

Arp is paying their non certified subs $75 and certified subs get $90. Long term subs, subbing one class for more than 6 weeks, earn $125, which is a 10% increase from last year.

Other districts like Chapell Hill, Diboll, and Jefferson ISD are in need of subs right now as well.

Visit the district websites for more information.