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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento City Unified School District is pleading with the community to help them as they go through a staffing shortage.

The omicron variant continues to bring up the number of positive confirmed cases within Sacramento County. SCUSD reported Friday 32 of its staff members had COVID-19.

SCUSD is battling a substitute teacher shortage on top of an already critical staff shortage.

“With principals teaching in classrooms, sending central office staff who oversee departments to assist at school sites,” said SCUSD Superintendent Jorge Aguilar.

The need for substitutes is so severe, district officials are asking anyone with teaching qualifications to meet them at their office.

“If you’ve already been cleared to volunteer in our district, our schools need all hands on deck,” Aguilar said.

But the lack of educators has been an issue long before the pandemic as Sacramento City Teachers Association President David Fisher said the plea from the district isn’t going to fix the problem.

“We don’t have enough substitutes to begin with and the vacancy rates amongst the classroom teachers are so great that it’s a math problem. There just aren’t enough of them to fill the vacancies,” Fisher explained.

District officials announced Friday that SCUSD will do away with certain restrictions within the application process and allow retired teachers to come back.

The changes are part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new executive order and candidates must all have a bachelor’s degree, pass a background and fingerprint test, and have basic skill requirements.

Parent Justin McCoy told FOX40 it seems like the district doesn’t care about the quality of teaching.

“At this point, they’re talking about supervision rather than education,” McCoy explained. “At this point, it really reads that if you have a bachelor’s degree and a pulse, we want you supervising a classroom regardless of whether or not you know the subject.”

An SCUSD spokesperson told FOX40 the applicants they’re considering are qualified and, without the governor’s executive order, would have been discouraged from applying due to the long process.

As the district continues to try to keep its doors open, it announced Friday it has gotten nearly 150,000 N95 masks from the state. Officials said they will make sure those supplies will be available at all campuses.