A school district “fill rate” means the percentage of covered versus uncovered teacher absences, by day, week, month, and year. High fill rates can only be achieved by having a robust substitute pool sufficient to cover not only absences due to illness, but professional development days as well. Fill rates vary from state-to-state, and even site-by-site within a single school district.
Fill rates, even site-by site, are often influenced by not only the size of the active substitute pool, but by the way substitutes are trained and how they are treated by students, teachers, and administrative staff.
The Impact Of Low Fill Rates
School districts with the highest state assessment and nationwide standardized testing scores, experience the highest percentage fill rates in the mid-to-high 90s. Conversely, school districts that underperform tend to have fill rates in the 60s to mid-80s.