WINTHROP — In an attempt to be more competitive with other districts in the area, the Winthrop school board is raising the daily rate substitute education technicians are paid to match the $130-a-day rate substitute teachers are paid. 

The board approved the change in a 5-0 vote Wednesday evening without further discussion. The decision makes Winthrop Public Schools among the highest-paying districts in the area for substitute education technicians, or ed techs.

“I would support they be the same (wage), sometimes the job can be harder since there is a different dynamic,” said board member Catherine Emery. “I would think having the same wage would be good — ed techs are essential.”

The idea stemmed from a proposal made by board member Tim Wess to raise the substitute teacher pay. But after discussion with staff members at a Feb. 1 school board meeting, officials instead decided to increase the pay for substitute education technician to match that of the substitute teachers.

“Winthrop has always paid teachers and ed techs the same,” Superintendent Jim Hodgkin said. “I’m sure there are others out there that make differences based on degrees, but we haven’t.”

The previous daily rate for a substitute education technician in Winthrop was $100.


With the $30 per day increase, school board members hope to be able to attract more education technicians to the district, which they said is in dire need of them. 

“I think we should look every year at the rate for the districts,” said Wess. 

Officials at the Feb. 1 board meeting said finding education technicians for the substitute roles has proven difficult, because of both the low pay rate and a statewide shortage of people willing to take on the work.

Most of the special education teachers have said subbing for an education technician position may be harder than a teaching position because you are with a student more one-on-one,” said Sue Fossett, the director of special education.These students require specialized programming that can change often throughout the day based on need, so it can be more challenging. When you substitute for a teacher, scheduled plans are laid out.”

The new, $130 per day rate equates to $15 per hour and places Winthrop just below the highest-paying district in the area for that role. Livermore Falls-based Regional School Unit 73 pays substitute ed techs $135 a day.

Elsewhere in the region, Hallowell-based Regional School Unit 2 pays substitute ed techs $95 a day; Augusta Public Schools pays $98 per day; Gardiner-based Maine School Administrative District 11 pays $105 per day; and Readfield-based Regional School Unit 38 pays $115 per day.

Substitute teachers, comparatively, receive $130 a day in RSU 2; $101 a day in Augusta; $120 a day in MSAD 11; and $125 a day in RSU 38.

The highest rate for substitute teacher pay in the area, like for substitute ed techs, is RSU 73, which pays $140 a day.

Comments are no longer available on this story