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Olentangy Schools Reopens Buildings After Substitute Teacher Shortage

Olentangy Berlin High School
Steve Brown
Olentangy Berlin High School

Nearly all Ohio schools are returning to in-person or hybrid learning after pledging to do so to get vaccines for employees. At least one Central Ohio district closed several of its buildings on Monday because there were not enough substitute teachers to fill in for teachers experiencing symptoms from recent COVID vaccines.

The Olentangy Local School District had to close two of its high schools, one middle school and six elementary buildings due to a substitute teacher shortage.

Many of the school district’s staff who received their second COVID vaccine over the weekend are suffering with side effects. A spokeswoman for Olentangy says the district had substitutes ready to come in but didn't have enough to cover the shortage.

Ohio Education Association president Scott DiMauro says this is part of a statewide problem.

“We’ve had a shortage of substitute teachers in Ohio since before COVID, and I think the pandemic has made that situation more acute," DiMauro says.

Earlier this year, the Columbus City Schools raised substitute teacher pay after it faced a shortage.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.