We rely on our support staff to get through the day and getting adequate funding for them is a huge challenge at my school. Substitutes are hard to come by and our instructional assistants are frequently called on to be subs. This adds more stress on them, as it’s not what they were hired for and they’re already surviving on near-poverty wages.
In many cases, our special educators will be assigned to sub or we will simply split up a class that’s not covered between two teachers, which is illegal, stressful, and demeaning to the profession.
It’s also frustrating that after all this extra work not remotely related to our jobs the paycheck we take home is barely enough for a family to survive: It’s almost as if Virginia is trying to push education staff out of the field.