By Marissa Perlman

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Many local parents of school-age children say their kids have fallen behind due to distance learning.

Faced with this gap, school districts are quickly ramping up their summer school programs, scrambling to find teachers — many who are pandemic weary —  to keep the lessons going. Administrators are trying to keep the teachers around for the summer by offering higher pay.

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River City High School parent Evelyn Bennett says she’s seen kids in the district fall behind.

First Grade Washington Unified Teacher, Jessica Pagan says those students who needed extra support, just couldn’t get it this year.

“There was a noticeable gap throughout all of the subject areas,” she said.

And now, because of that, summer is school is filling up. Parents are eager to get their kids a spot for in-person learning.

“Summer school would be the ideal thing for someone who really needs it,” said Superintendent Dr. Karen Schauer with Galt Unified.

Schauer with Galt Unified is launching a first-of-its-kind summer school program, just as she’s set to retire.

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This will extend the school year for three weeks for Grades K through 8.

“In my 40 years as an educator I don’t recall ever a time that we offered full-day summer program ever, but we never had a pandemic,” Dr. Schauer said.

And with a full day, for Galt teachers, that means more pay: almost double the normal rate at $500 a day.

Elk Grove Unified and Sacramento Unified say they’re offering up to $80 an hour.

It’s partly why Julie De Agua, rushed to sign up to teach summer school for the first time ever.

“It’s definitely a nice little chunk of change,” she said.

Some of the programs are funded by a state grant called the “Expanded learning opportunities grant program.”

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Washington and San Juan Unified School districts say they’re not giving these types of incentives to their teachers this summer.

Marissa Perlman