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Suburban districts monitor subs during DPS strike

As teachers in Denver Public Schools walked the picket lines on Monday, administrators in suburban school districts are making plans in case some of their substitute teachers jump in to help in Denver classrooms.

DENVER — Denver Public Schools is offering an incentive to substitutes willing to cross the picket lines and help keep schools open during this week's strike, and it has suburban districts making extra plans in case their substitutes decide to move to help DPS.

The district is offering substitutes double the typical daily rate of $106.80 to spend time in schools as teachers picket. Subs will make $212 per day if they fill in during the strike.

Some former teachers and frequent substitutes could make as much as $250 per day.

The district said 400 substitutes showed up to help in schools on Monday, supplemented by 1,400 employees from the district's central office.

The demand for a large number of substitutes comes during a statewide shortage of substitutes, due in part, some say, to a bustling economy. 

JeffCo school administrators sent a note to their teachers this week, telling them they are developing a plan.

"One immediate action we are taking is to cancel certain professional development classes in the upcoming week so that our educators can remain in their classrooms, thereby reducing our need for substitute teachers," the note from the district's human resources head read.

JeffCo, Cherry Creek, and Adams 12 Five Star Schools told 9NEWS on Monday that they hadn't noticed a shortage of substitutes in their respective districts on the first day of the strike but they are monitoring the situation.

RELATED: Substitutes expected to take over classes after Denver teachers vote to strike

RELATED: DPS superintendent says substitute teachers will be getting paid double if teachers strike

Smaller districts like Sheridan Schools, already pressed for subs, said they are also keeping an eye on the situation.

In mid-January, Denver Public Schools said it was recruiting furloughed federal workers to fill in in substitute positions. The district was also working with the Colorado Department of Education to expedite sub licensing for new teachers.

Since January 21, when DPS made its initial pitch for new substitutes, CDE told 9NEWS it has processed 834 sub licenses, about 500 more than it had in the same time period in 2018.

Steve Staeger is a reporter for Next with Kyle Clark. He also anchors 9News Weekend Mornings. Contact Steve by e-mailing steve@9news.com or calling 303-871-1825.

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