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Sonoma Valley schools up ante for substitute teachers

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Substitute teachers in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District will see a $20 a day bump in their pay effective immediately.

At the Nov. 12, school board meeting, the board raised the daily pay for substitutes from $90 a day to $110 a day. Half-day pay was also raised from $45 to $6 for less than four hours, and $75 for four to five hours.

The district has had a hard time getting substitutes, Deputy Superintendent Justin Frese told the board, because the district was paying less than any other district in the county. “We need to stay competitive,” he said.

In notes to the board, it was pointed out that since the beginning of the school year, the district has not been able to staff all substitute requests resulting in either another teacher covering the assignment during a preparation period or receiving compensation time credit, or having an administrator cover the assignment.

The district will also kick up the pay for long-term subs to $140 a day starting at day 11, and to $202 a day at day 21.

The top substitute pay in the area is Healdsburg, the Sonoma County Office of Education and the Marin County Office of Education all paying $115 a day. Waugh and Novato pay $110 a day and the rest are paying $95 to $100 a day.

The board also held a public hearing, although none of the audience left at that point had any comment, on the spending plans for funds to implement the Common Core State Standards.

The district will be receiving $848,236 from the state to implement the standards. The money will be spent over a two-year period.

The district will be spending 70 percent, or about $593,600, on professional development; 20 percent, or about $169,600, on technology upgrades; and 10 percent, or about $84,800, on instructional materials and supplies.

School Superintendent Louann Carlomagno told the board that those are the only areas where this state money can be spent. “And we’ll refine it as we move forward,” she added.

The board will vote on the spending plan at its December meeting.

In other business, the board:

• Received its annual update on the dual-immersion program.

• Received an update from Kevin Kassebaum, the Sonoma Charter School’s new director.

• Honored Stefani Balam and Jasper Ray as El Verano Elementary School’s students of the year.