2017 Hiring Policy
The state should ensure that substitute teachers are appropriately placed and assessed in the classroom. This goal was new in 2017 and was not graded.
Substitute License(s): Georgia does not issue substitute licenses but does have minimal requirements regarding length of assignment.
Length of Assignment: Any classroom teacher absent for 46 days or more must be filled with a certified teacher. Substitutes with a high school diploma or GED may teach in one classroom assignment for no more than 10 consecutive days. It is unclear whether and what requirements exist for a substitute teaching for more than 10 consecutive days but less than 46 consecutive days in the same assignment.
Evaluation of Long-Term Substitutes: Georgia state policy is unclear regarding whether substitutes with a current license would be subject to evaluation under the state's evaluation policy.
Georgia Educator Certification Rules 505-2-.20
Require substitute teachers to have a substitute license.
Georgia should require all substitute teachers to obtain a substitute teaching license. Licenses issued by the state allow for uniform minimum requirements so that all districts have access to a similarly qualified substitute teaching pool.
Require long-term substitute teachers to be evaluated.
Georgia should maintain standards for substitute teacher quality and accountability for all substitutes, but especially for long-term substitutes who are expected to stand in for licensed teachers for extended periods of time. Georgia can help ensure that substitute teachers are held to high standards and have access to the supports necessary to improve their practice by requiring evaluations— which it may find appropriate to modify from its standard, state-required teacher evaluations— of long-term substitutes.
Georgia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
Research finds that teacher absences negatively affect student achievement and growth. While some of this is attributable to the disruption of regular classroom practices and instruction, it may also be attributable to substitute teacher quality. The gap in instructional quality and daily productivity when a regular teacher is replaced by a substitute teacher is significant. However, absences covered by substitutes licensed by the state are not as detrimental to student achievement as those covered by non-licensed substitutes. Some research hypothesizes that the low-skill level and mobility of substitute teachers may contribute to the reduction in instructional focus and quality and that even when substitute teachers are good instructors, they may be unable to effectively implement a teacher of record's long-term instructional strategies. Parents, teachers, principals, and students have concerns about substitute teachers' quality and qualifications. States should maintain rigorous standards for substitute teacher quality and accountability for all substitutes, but especially for long-term substitutes who are expected to stand in for teachers for long stretches of time.