TOPSHAM — The Maine School Administrative District 75 school board will consider changing its nepotism policy to counter a shortage of substitutes.

The board is slated to take the first of two votes tonight on a draft policy that would allow relatives of school board members to work in the district as substitutes. That includes children, parents or spouses of school board members.

School board member relatives still won’t be able to work in the district under the policy. Substitute employees would be the exception.

“There’s a shortage of subs and we’re looking at making an exception of the nepotism policy for individuals who are subbing,” Superintendent Shawn Chabot said.

School districts have shortages of substitutes in all areas of employment, he said. The economy is doing well so people have more employment options, which can make attracting substitute employees more challenging.

“That’s why we’re potentially looking at changing this (policy),” Chabot said. “There is a worker shortage and there’s a definite need for substitutes.”


MSAD 75 serves Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham. The district has 170 substitutes in its database but only 89 are active and 34 of those could be working in other school departments, according to Jessica Factor, the human resources director.

These include substitutes for teachers, ed techs, bus drivers, nurses as well as food service and custodial and grounds staff.

“An ideal number for the district can be tricky to pinpoint, as needs will fluctuate through the school year,” Factor said. “There continues to be an ongoing shortage, however, which also includes nurse and bus driver substitutes.”

If the school board votes in favor of the policy changes tonight, they will still have to vote a second time at a future meeting to adopt the policy.

The school board meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Mt. Ararat Middle School in the learning commons.



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