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Substitute teacher fund running low in Isle of Wight County

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Posted at 8:41 PM, Feb 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-19 20:41:21-05

Crowded classrooms are what Isle of Wight County students are facing all because of this year's flu season.

With this flu season's record numbers, teachers called out sick forcing the school to pay for extra substitutes.

Now, their substitution fund is running dry.

The budget had around $365,000 for subs, an amount that doesn't vary much from year to year.

Now, they have about $130,000 left for the rest of the year.

School officials tell NewsChannel 3 they're trying to "be creative" when it comes to dealing with it.

One way to deal with it: if a teacher is out sick, the kids from that class would be split up among other classes.

Also, office employees may be called on to "teach."

But they say they had to choose between laying off five teachers or cut substitutes.

"We really didn't want to lose any of our teachers. You know, that's a touchy decision to have to make; losing teachers or trying to cut funding somewhere else in the budget. And of course, we're going to save our teachers," says Kenita Bowers with IOW County Schools.

As for parents, they don't like the idea of their child being in an overcrowded classroom.

"It's a definite concern of mine. I don't want to see my child in very large classrooms to where a teacher can't have that one-on-one interaction with children when they need it," said one parent.

And for others, they don't know the best choice.

"I don't know what the other options would be. I mean they have to be in school, and what are you going to do if they can't afford substitute teachers? The flu season is terrible,” commented another parent.