Hammonton Schools double substitute teacher pay as teacher requests to work remotely are denied

An Atlantic County school district is more than doubling the rate for substitute teachers as requests from teachers to work remotely are denied. 
“In my district, a sub off the street is now going to make more than an instructional aide or a secretary who possibly has been there for over 10 years,” says Hammonton Education Association president Anthony Angelozzi. 
Angelozzi says that he was shocked when the Hammonton School District suddenly upped the pay for $225 for substitute teachers.
“The previous rate was $90 for a non-certified substitute and $100 for a certified substitute,” he says.
He says that it came on the same day that many teachers were denied their requests to work remotely ahead of the new school year.
The district is planning to open Sept. 8 with a hybrid schedule. Staff would have to report to their classrooms five days a week to teach.
“People with family issues applied for leave. They were kind of led on and they said, ‘We’re going to do our best to accommodate you and work with you,’ and then all of a sudden on Friday, Aug. 28, all of those people on the same day who needed that family request were denied,” Angelozzi says.
The association president says that he knows of about 20 teachers who were denied their request – many of them now scrambling to make a decision about their work.
“The federal law does allow you to take federal leave, but you only get two-thirds of your pay and you still have to pay for your health benefits while you’re out. So, a lot of people told me, they said financially, ‘I don’t know if my family can cut it if I’m forced to take that family leave,’” Angelozzi says.
A school board meeting is scheduled for Thursday night at the high school. The Education Association is prepared to voice its opinion with the hope that the district will work with it.
A spokesperson for the Hammonton School District did not return a request for comment.