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Ask Elsie -- November 15, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask Elsie is a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries, or in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them.

Dear Elsie,

I am a substitute without a bachelor’s degree. I feel that I am penalized when I accept a long-term position and after the 11th day the pay does not increase as it would for someone with the degree. What is the advantage of taking the long-term position if the pay isn't going to increase like other substitutes? I have had this happen now twice and each time I ask, the answer I receive is that I don't have the degree. If others or myself are already in the position and teaching the students, we should get the same pay.

James Fish

Dear Mr. Fish,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Max Ates, senior officer of payroll, benefits and risk management, regarding your question and here’s the response: “Thank you for your dedication to teaching the students of Fort Worth ISD. It is true that the District’s compensation package pays more for a long-term substitute with a bachelor’s degree, or higher, than a substitute who has 60-plus hours of higher education. This pay differential is much like any other type of business; there must be parameters to determine the rate of pay for any individual. This differential is only paid to substitutes with degrees who are working in a teaching position in the place of an absent full-time employee or in an unfilled full-time position. However, advantages other than the pay rate of accepting a long-term substitute assignment are that you know each day for that long-term period of time that you will be working at the same location, with the same students, alongside the same administrators and teaching staff teams. Another advantage is that you can be assured that you will accumulate workdays that will apply toward the possibility of receiving a monetary award per the Substitute Teacher Incentive Program, according to the guidelines of the program. If you have questions regarding the Substitute Teacher Incentive Program, you may contact the Central Calling Office at 817-814-2780.”

Thank you, Mr. Fish and thank you Mr. Ates for your response.

Elsie

Dear Elsie,

After attending a recent in-service, I was wondering if FWISD has looked in to adding a fall break to the calendar? In my department alone, 40 percent of teachers called in sick. Fall is a busy time. A long weekend to recharge and be with my family would be welcomed. I would gladly attend professional development in the summer OR start school one or two days earlier (for teachers) to have a long weekend in the fall.

A Tired FWISD Teacher

Dear A Tired FWISD Teacher,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Charles Carroll, FWISD’s chief academic officer, and here’s the response: “The District is working through drafts of sample calendars for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years during the fall semester (now). A fall break is a consideration currently under review by the calendar committee. As in past years, it may be one of several differences that exist between drafts and be a decision point for consideration when a calendar for each year is adopted.”

Thanks again, A Tired FWISD Teacher for your question and thank you Mr. Carroll for your response.

Elsie

Direct your questions to Inside@fwisd.org and put the words "Ask Elsie" in the subject line. Please close your letter with your preferred signature as you wish it to appear in the column. When there are multiple queries on the same subject, we will select the one that is most representative of the subject. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.

Please bear with us as we have a backlog of Ask Elsie questions and are responding to questions as soon as we can.