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Schools: District looks at oursourcing substitute teachers

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

The Georgetown County School District is reviewing a plan to outsource its substitute teachers to a private company as a way to save on administrative costs.

The district uses between 30 and 45 substitutes a day and current subs would have the opportunity to move to the private firm, Kelly Educational Staffing, a part of the international staffing company Kelly Services.

The move won’t affect substitute pay, which would still be set by the school district, said Julie Gerts, Kelly’s regional sales manager. The company would be responsible for hiring, screening and training substitutes. The district will pay a fee based on the number of substitutes employed. The school district staff is still working on an estimate of how much it would save under the proposal, which was presented to the school board this week.

“Substitute teachers should see significant benefits coming to work for Kelly,” Gerts said.

For one thing, the company doesn’t plan to limit hours to avoid providing coverage to employees under the Affordable Care Act, she said. “We want to keep those great substitutes in your classroom,” Gerts told the board.

Kelly would also manage the computerized scheduling of substitutes, but she said principals would have final say over who works in their schools.

“I like this concept,” Board Member Richard Kerr said. “The proof of the pudding is in how much money we save.”

Kelly Educational Staffing is used by 10 of the state’s 85 school districts, including Charleston and Berkeley counties, Gerts said.

“I think it’s a fascinating concept. I’m glad we’re pursuing this kind of thing,” School Board Chairman Jim Dumm said.

Jon Tester, the district’s human resources director and a former principal, said the goal was to improve education and cut costs. “We value education as much as you do,” Gerts said.

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