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MECHANICSBURG — In response to a continuing “difficulty” in finding substitute teachers, the Mechanicsburg Area School District is working to broaden its base of available substitutes through the Capital Area Intermediate Unit’s Guest Teacher training program.

“Several of the local districts have studied the issue (of substitute shortages) and are trying a variety of ways to help address the issue,” Superintendent Mark Leidy said. “Currently, we are looking to increase the number of guest teachers available in our district.”

Qualified candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree and be interviewed for the position, said Jeremy Freeland, Mechanicsburg’s supervisor of administrative services.

The district is conducting interviews for program candidates through June, with training dates scheduled for July 7-9 at the CAIU offices, 55 Miller St., Enola.

The training fee is $125, but each participant will be reimbursed after serving as a guest teacher five or more times in the Mechanicsburg school district during the 2015-16 school year, according to a flyer that was distributed to the district through social media.

District administrators said that the substitute teacher shortage situation isn’t unique to Mechanicsburg.

“All schools are experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers now,” Freeland said.

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“Typically, when the economy begins to recover, more people who would be substituting in schools are able to find permanent positions or better paying work elsewhere,” Leidy said.

Leidy said Mechanicsburg isn’t planning to use a substitute recruiting service for the upcoming school year, but added, “We have not ruled it out as a possibility in the future.”

Besides Mechanicsburg, other Cumberland County districts participating in the CAIU’s Guest Teacher program during the 2014-15 school year include Camp Hill, Cumberland Valley, Shippensburg Area, South Middleton and West Shore school districts. Cumberland-Perry Vocational Technical School also is a participant.

In Perry County, Greenwood, Newport and Susquenita school districts use the program.

For information about Mechanicsburg’s Guest Teacher program, call 717-691-4500 or e-mail hr@mbgsd.org.

To apply, visit CAIU’s Guest Teacher page at www.caiu.org.

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