More schools going virtual in Alabama

Alabama schools look for path through COVID-19 pandemic as kids return

Concerns over rising COVID-19 cases in schools

By Lydia Nusbaum| 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – More schools in Alabama are moving to virtual learning because of the pandemic.

State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey said one of the top reasons schools close down is because faculty members contract the virus.

“There comes a point where there are just not enough adults to effectively function and you just have to close school for a couple of weeks,” Mackey said.

Mackey says that’s mostly because staff members like cafeteria workers and teachers contracted the virus.

“We’ve not had any schools that I know of have an outbreak among students,” he said.

Mackey said there are not enough substitute teachers to fill in.

“And there are no substitutes this year. In fact, we have districts paying close to 150 dollars a day for substitutes and can’t find subs,” he said.

Alexander City Schools announced they will move to virtual learning because of the high number of COVID-19 cases.

“With the large numbers of teachers out, we just didn’t have enough subs to cover,” said Alexander City Schools Dr. Keith Lankford.

The school system even provided a pay raise for substitutes.

“We raised our substitute salary at the beginning of the school year to try and compensate hoping to entice some people to come in,” Lankford said.

It’s an ongoing challenge that Mackey says the state will need to work through.