BAR HARBOR — Schools in the Mount Desert Island Regional School System (MDIRSS) will be paying their substitute teachers more starting in January.
The pay rate, which hasn’t changed in a number of years, will increase from $80 a day to $100, and for substitutes who are certified teachers, to $120.
Superintendent Marc Gousse told the MDIRSS board Monday night that, even though the raises were not included in the budgets for the current fiscal year, he is confident they can be paid for “through salary savings in our existing approved budgets.”
He said the rate increase will help the schools attract and retain qualified substitute teachers.
“We’re really lucky to have the people we do, and we want to maintain that pool,” he said.
The current pay rate for substitute teachers is lower than the daily rates in several neighboring school districts. The new rate for MDIRSS substitutes will be higher.
Substitute teachers in Ellsworth, Hancock and Lamoine and the school district that includes nine Downeast coastal towns are paid $93.50 to $115.50 a day, depending on their academic degrees and teacher certification.
Substitute teachers in the Bucksport school district make $95 to $105 a day.
The daily rate for substitutes in the Deer Isle-Stonington and Brooklin school district make $88 to $100.
In five towns on the Blue Hill peninsula, the daily rate for all substitutes is $90.
Gousse said he will recommend that MDIRSS schools include the higher pay rate for substitute teachers in their budgets for next fiscal year.