Substitute teachers who work in the Santa Clarita Valley will soon be eligible for higher wages after each of the local elementary school districts agreed to increase their certificated substitute pay schedules. Trustees in the Sulphur Springs Union School District were the first to make the change when they agreed to increase the substitute teacher rates in September, bringing the district’s substitute rates to $120 for those who teach a full day of kindergarten through sixth grade and $125 for those who teach severe classes or grades seven and eight, the district’s agenda states. Castaic Union School District trustees would follow a similar path a few months later during a Nov. 8 meeting of the governing board, where trustees approved a substitute teacher pay increase that put Castaic on equal footing with Sulphur Springs. “The substitute teacher pay rates have not changed since 2004 and are currently the lowest of all the districts in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Superintendent Steve Doyle said at the meeting, before adding the district was struggling to provide substitute coverage — which was a sentiment echoed in nearly all of the SCV districts, including Newhall and Saugus, who were the most recent districts to approve raises for local substitutes. “Due to growing need, challenges to secure the needed number of substitutes on a daily basis and competitive substitute salaries in surrounding districts, it is necessary to increase the substitute salary rates,” said Michelle Morse, NSD’s assistant superintendent of human resources, during the district’s Nov. 13 meeting. While the pay for half-day substitutes who teach at NSD school sites stayed stable, trustees did agree to pay $140 to those who sub in regular education classes and $145 to instructors who teach special education, according to the district agenda. The resolution also ensured that the long-term substitute pay rates are consistent with the current certificated salary schedule. Like Newhall, Saugus Union School District trustees agreed at their Dec. 7 meeting to increase the pay of long-term substitutes who teach regular or special education. “We also added in a loyalty rate,” said Jennifer Stevenson, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources. This means a substitute’s full-day rate will increase to $140 after a teacher has served as a substitute for 108 days in a school year, which is equivalent to 60 percent of an academic year. The district is kind of just spinning their wheels otherwise, staff added. By increasing the daily rate paid to substitutes from $110 to $125 a day, the district hopes to see a corresponding increase in the number of substitutes who are eager to accept assignments. Castaic Union’s pay rates became active Dec. 1, and all other increases will take effect Jan. 1, 2019, according to district agendas.