Instead of hiring substitutes when teachers are absent, New York City could save $9 million a year by sending students online to complete assignments independently, according to a budget office report.
The substitute-teacher option is among more than 90 cost-cutting and revenue-raising ideas in the yearly report issued by the city’s Independent Budget Office this month.
The e-learning plan could be put in place in high schools for teachers who are absent fewer than three days in a row, according to the report. In the 2015 school year, city high school teachers with three or fewer absences missed a total of 96,000 days. These short-term absences make up more than 97 percent of allclassroom teacher absences.
Under current requirements, the city’s department of education must assign a human substitute to lead an absent teacher’s class at a daily rate of $155. Providing students with online lessons in place of substitutes would require collective bargaining with the teachers’ union, according to the report.
A version of this article appeared in the March 22, 2017 edition of Education Week as Substitute Teachers