Gov. Spencer Cox has issued an executive order permitting state employees to take approved leave time from their state job to fill staffing gaps in a Utah public or private school.
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has brought an unprecedented wave of absenteeism among teachers and education staff and labor shortages are exacerbating the problem. Giving state employees the option to substitute teach, help in the cafeteria or perform others needed duties will ensure schools can continue to provide in-person learning experiences.
“We know that kids learn best in the classroom, so we want to do what we can to help schools stay open. Our teachers and our children deserve our support during this difficult phase of the pandemic,” Gov. Cox said. “We hope many of the state’s 22,000 employees will take advantage of this opportunity to help our schools.”
Executive Order 2022-02 grants state employees up to 30 hours of paid administrative leave in order to work as a substitute teacher or other staffing need in a public or private school between now and the end of June 2022.
State employees who choose to participate must go through a district or school hiring process which includes passing a background check, according to state law. Employees will qualify for both state pay as well as compensation from the school district for their time.