"We looked at other districts from Los Angeles County," Soumakian said. "We are not really high [-paying], yet we are not really low [-paying]. We are kind of where we need to be to be competitive."
Effective Aug. 1, the Burbank Unified School District will pay up to $14.75 per hour for substitutes in kindergarten through 12th grades, depending on credentials. The previous salary range was a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $110 per day — or a range of $12.50 to $13.75 per hour, according to the report.
Special education substitutes are paid $123 per day, or about $15.40 per hour, up from a range of $105 to $115 per day or a little more than $13 to $14 per hour, according to the report.
The pay raise will affect substitutes who work both daily and hourly pay schedules. Substitute nurses and long-term substitutes will also benefit from the raise — receiving a boost of $150 a day to $161.
Substitute teachers are hired in the district through a database containing an estimated 225 teachers, said Cyndi Mersola, technician in charge of the substitute desk at the district's Human Resources Department.
Whenever a teacher takes a leave from a school day, a substitute must be put in their place to teach their class for anywhere from a single day, period or week to a month-long stint.
"It's so varied," Mersola said. "There's conferences and sick leave. There's anywhere from 60 people out — up to 100 — and it varies every day."
The district spends slightly more than $1 million a year from its general fund on substitute teachers, Soumakian said.
Because of substitutes' freedom in picking which school and district they would like to work in on any given day, the district is trying to be as competitive in their pay as they can, he said.
"A substitute can get hired by three or four different districts and they can pick and choose who they want to work for and when," he said.
"And they pick and choose the classroom and the assignment."
RACHEL KANE covers education. She may be reached at (818) 637-3205 or by e-mail at rachel.kanelatimes.com.