RANTOUL, Ill (WCIA) — School District #137 is taking a new approach to keep teaching assistants in the classroom by offering incentives to employees who keep absences to a minimum.

Superintendent Scott Woods said teaching assistants make up about 20% of district employees.
When they are unable to assist teachers, it effects class efficiency and student learning.

“With this incentive we’re hoping that, one, we’re rewarding our employees who are coming to work consistently,” Woods said. “And two, that it might help encourage some folks to come to work on those days when they might, you know, feel just a little bit under the weather.” 

Teaching assistants with two absences or less will also be able to get up to $750, on top of other incentives, per trimester. Woods said substitutes are prioritized to fill in for teachers, and assistant’s roles are usually filled by other staff members, which causes more strain on employees. He said they will be filling four teaching assistant positions, and those hired before Nov. 11 will be able to take advantage of the new incentives.

Applicants need to be 19 years old and have a high school diploma.