BAPS Hoping Volunteer Substitute Teachers Help District Weather State Budget Storm

SCHOOL’S IN SESSION: Carolyn Caldwell (foreground) at a February BAPS volunteer substitute teacher workshop.

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – Broken Arrow Public Schools is hoping volunteer substitute teachers will help the School District’s bottom line as it joins other Oklahoma districts in looking for ways to save money during the state budget crisis. 

During the 2008-2009 school year, BAPS averaged just over 62 substitute teachers in district classrooms each day as BAPS spent over $611,600 on substitute teachers for that school year (non-certified substitute teachers are paid $55 per day while Oklahoma certified teachers who substitute are paid $60 per day).

For the first semester of the 2009-2010 school year, BAPS has spent $288,000 on substitute teachers.

“We understand that teachers get sick and family members of teachers get sick requiring the teacher to stay home from work,” Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gary Gerber said.“So we are not saying that we don’t need qualified substitute teachers; we are hoping that enough of our district’s many supporters and volunteers will see the need and agree to be volunteer substitute teachers so that we can lower this cost to our district.”

BAPS holds its next volunteer-substitute teacher workshop Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. until noon at Central on Main.Pre-registration at the Performing Arts Center is required in order to attend the Feb. 23 workshop (attendance at a workshop is required in order to serve as a substitute teacher).

Substitute teachers must have a high school diploma or GED and successfully pass a background check in order to serve in BAPS classrooms.

Carolyn Caldwell was among those taking part in the district’s first volunteer substitute teacher workshop Feb. 2.She said she likes the fact that she will be helping the district during the state’s difficult budgetary times while also getting the opportunity to be more involved in her children’s school. 

“Statistics show your children do better when you’re involved at their school,” Caldwell said.“You get to know the staff and the people that have such an influence on your children each day.”

Dr. Gerber pointed out that some of the district’s regular paid substitute teachers have even volunteered to work for free on some of their days in BAPS classrooms.

“We are so appreciative of the care and concern being expressed by our classroom teachers and substitute teachers on how they can help during this budget situation,” Dr. Gerber said.“This is another example of why I am so thankful to live and work in this community because Broken Arrow cares about education and about doing what’s best for our children and grandchildren.”

Parents and patrons seeking additional information about the district’s volunteer substitute teacher program may call the BAPS Human Resources Department at 259-5700 or email

Updated 02-05-2010

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