The state is repaying some Missourians who are taking a temporary 20-hour online training class to become a substitute teacher.

In August, the Missouri Board of Education voted to temporarily give prospective substitutes the option of using the rapid certification method or completing the standard 60 college credit hours. The emergency rule the board passed is set to expire at the end of February 2021.

Missouri to reimburse some substitute teachers taking speedy training

The program is intended to help curtail a shortage of substitutes during the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

“The substitute teacher shortage was a challenge our agency was working to address prior to COVID-19,” says Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “The pandemic has only exacerbated this issue. We are pleased that these additional options are now available to assists schools in providing onsite learning opportunities for Missouri students.”

At a state Board of Education meeting this week, Kari Monsees, deputy commissioner for finance with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, says the Governor’s Office has designated $2 million in coronavirus relief funds to help cover the personal costs.

“These funds will allow those subs to be reimbursed for their application fees, for their training fees and for their fingerprint background check fees as well,” he says. “So, we’re working on a program to get those distributed. “The subs themselves will just get reimbursement for their expenditures that they’ve already put out of pocket – except for the background check. We’ll have to work through the districts for that particular reimbursement.”

Individuals who have paid the online training fee of $175 and/or the application fee of $50 from August 18 through November 4 will be repaid. There is no action required by the substitute teachers to be reimbursed; the payment method used to pay these fees will be automatically credited. The agency will begin processing these reimbursements on November 5.

Schools must submit an online application to the department by November 4 to repay substitutes for their background check fee.

Prospective substitute teachers must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and must pass a background check. For those interested in becoming a substitute teacher through the online training course and for more information about these reimbursements, as well as recent updates to substitute certification rules, click here.

Here are the K-12 job openings around the state, including for substitute teachers.

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