Nebo School District officials say they hope to offer some of their least-respected employees a little extra compensation.

The Nebo School Board recently approved changes in the district's substitute teacher policy, including a $5 per day increase for each step or level certified or non-certified teachers meet.Nebo employs an average of one substitute teacher per school per school year, and often those teachers get the short end of the deal from both school districts as well as students, according to district officials.

"A good substitute is hard to come by," said Larry Kimball, director of secondary education. "(Substitute teaching) is a very hard job, and often a substitute isn't treated very well. We hope we can offer them more of an incentive to come to work for us."

With the increase, certified teachers - those certified by the State Board of Education - will receive $40 per day they teach in the district. Non-certified substitutes will receive $35 per day.

For those who teach more than 21 days in the same class, the rate becomes $58 per day for certified teachers, or $53 for non-certified. Both rates will be paid retroactively. If a substitute teaches more than 40 days in the district per school year, regardless of whether or not it is in the same classes, the rate also becomes $58 per day for certified, or $53 for non-certified teachers.

Nebo hasn't changed its substitute pay rates in nearly a decade, according to Personnel Director Bill Rust.

"In that time, other school district have been able to raise their rates, while ours have remained the same," Rust said. "We've got a significant problem in trying to attract the best substitutes for our schools because of money. While we're still not up to where (Provo and Alpine School Districts) are, hopefully this will help out."

Kimball said those in the substitute teaching ranks often range from housewives to education graduates looking for their first jobs, and that many of the latter are looking to other districts or other jobs because of the low pay.

"We're not saying that we haven't had the best substitutes," Kimball said. "We're very proud at what we've been able to accomplish with our substitutes."

However, the district is trying to remain competitive and provide its students with the best education possible, Kimball said.

"They're paid so poorly right now, to be honest," he said. "We need to do better to attract the best people for substitute teaching. We need to make it more of an attractive prospect for them."