US schools asking parents to work as teachers due staff shortages getting "so bad"
"We can't keep up."
The Covid-19 pandemic has left school districts around the US struggling to fill teaching roles in their classrooms – so much so that parents are now being asked to fulfil those roles.
Many districts have seen staffing shortages due to teachers either coming down with the virus or quitting the profession over health concerns and other issues, according to reports.
The situation has deteriorated to the point where some districts are now asking for eligible parents to apply to become substitutes.
One school district in Texas began advertising the positions earlier this month.
"Attention Parents: Now hiring certified and eligible non-certified Guest Teachers!" a Facebook post from Hays Consolidated School District reads. "Rewarding work in education that fits YOUR schedule!"
The district's website explains that non-certified applicants must pass one of several courses with at least an 85 percent score in order to become eligible.
"A substitute 'guest' teacher is responsible for providing instruction, managing the classroom environment, and promoting student learning in the absence of the regular classroom teacher," the district said, adding that these substitutes could make $100-$150 for shifts.
The Palo Alto School District in California also launched a campaign asking parents and the wider community to become substitutes.
"People move here for our schools, they love our schools, and they need our schools to stay open," superintendent Don Austin said in a video announcement.
"Our biggest challenge is staffing right now, people doing the jobs that we do. We can't keep up, there's no labor pool, no amount of money can solve this issue. We need your help."
A dad in Minnesota told NBC News how he responded to a robocall sent out by the principal of his daughter's school looking for substitutes.
"It is a unique way to give back and help the school that your children attended," he said.
In-person learning continues to be a struggle throughout the States as the pandemic continues, with in and around 750,000 people getting infected with Covid on a near daily basis.