WALES — The Regional School Unit 4 board of directors this week voted to raise substitute teacher pay by at least 20 percent, effective immediately.

Subs for Sabattus, Litchfield and Wales public schools will earn $85 a day, up from $70. Certified subs — those who have taken the district’s substitute teaching class or have a teaching degree — will earn $90 a day, up from $75.

Superintendent Andrew Carlton said the move is in response to the state’s new minimum wage, which increased from $10 an hour to $11 an hour Jan. 1. He said officials also hope the 20 percent increase will help the district attract substitute teachers, a difficult group of employees for schools to find and keep.

“The thing with substitute teachers is they come and go,” Carlton said.
“We’ll have a pool of people and then somebody gets a full-time job somewhere, or we hire them sometimes. They’re real good and we have, say, an open ed tech position. The unemployment rate is, what, 3.3, 3.4 percent? That’s impacting this as well.”

At the same Wednesday night meeting, the school board also approved a new three-year contract for Carlton, keeping him in the district through 2022.

While the board voted to raise substitute teacher pay, the superintendent will not get a raise.

“I understand what these communities can afford and I’m just thankful to come to work every day. So no changes,” Carlton said.

His salary will remain $100,000 a year.

Carlton began his career with the district. He was a golf professional when he joined the school system as an educational technician and fell in love with working with children.

“If you’d have told me that 15, 16 years later I would have been the superintendent of the school district, I would have laughed. I was always just going to go back to the golf business,” he said. “But I love what I do and I love working here.

This is Carlton’s second year as superintendent.

“I appreciate not only these communities, but our staff and our kids,” he said. “We’ve got great kids. We’ve got great parents. We’ve got great community members.”

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