Reserve shortage causing Round Rock ISD teachers to cover extra lessons

ROUND ROCK, TX (KXAN) – A major effort is being made to donate money to local teachers after a shortage of substitute teachers forces them to take extra classes.

A spokesperson for the Round Rock Independent School District says RRISD, like many districts in the state, is experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers, with a smaller percentage of those reservists accepting jobs. Therefore, teachers were asked to close classes from time to time.

Several Parent Teacher Associations and Partners in Education Foundations in the area donated $25 gift cards as a thank you to the teachers who helped. The district says teachers appreciate that.

E-mailing KXAN, teachers say they appreciated the gesture but wanted to know why the district didn’t pay them compensation.

“It’s nice that they think of us that way, but I think the district should be making time for teachers. Teachers should volunteer to work these hours for compensation,” one teacher told KXAN anonymously.

We do not ask teachers to cover a class when it conflicts with the required planning times. At Round Rock ISD, secondary school teachers are beyond the required planning time in their programs. Where necessary, a teacher may be asked to give up some of this additional planning time to cover one class. The state does not allow additional payment to teachers to take on teaching duties during this time as this would be considered ‘double immersion’. In other words, teachers are already compensated for that time, whether used for planning or teaching.

– RRISD spokesperson

The district says state law requires teachers to take 450 minutes of planning time every two weeks.

At Round Rock ISD, district leaders added 900 minutes of planning time to most secondary school teachers’ programs. The district says that if absolutely necessary, teachers can be asked to complete lessons unless these tasks result in the teacher having less than 450 minutes of planning time in a two-week period.

Round Rock ISD Partners at Education Foundation

The RRISD Partners in Education Foundation says it provides appreciation incentives in the form of thank-you gift cards, free coffee coupons, and small giveaways for principals to provide to visiting educators and teachers.

“Anyone who wants to spread ‘appreciation’ to our amazing teachers and visiting educators, feel free to donate by visiting our website at www.rrisdeducationfoundation.org and note ‘thank you’ in the ‘other’ section. The donations will allow the Foundation to provide additional marks of appreciation to all campuses,” Marianne Reap, Executive Director of the Partners in Education Foundation, told KXAN.

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