Schools nix temp idea for substitute teachers

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Lincoln County School Board again discussed how to handle substitute teacher placements in the county when the board met Monday evening.

The previously discussed Kelly Education Services were not approved and the schools will remain on the same system as in the past.

Currently, district-approved substitute teachers are being contacted by individual teachers, and the board had been hoping to find a more organized way to keep track of the substitutes, explained Cheryl Shelby, school district business manager.

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The issue of substitute teachers arose after the adoption of The Affordable Healthcare Act, Shelby explained. Under the new law, if a substitute works more than 30 hours a week, the district will be required to provide health insurance. Many substitutes have been filling in for more than 30 hours, especially if teacher maternity leave is involved.

Last month the board began discussing The Kelly Education Services as an alternative to the current system for substitutes. Kelly is a private company that provides staffing to schools across the country. The services include automated scheduling and time keeping.

The Board of Trustees did not approve the adoption of these services Monday because of their concern with cost and possible conflict with employees who work for both the school and a private company.

“I don’t think it’s a feasible solution to the problem,” said Shelby. “The mechanics of how we operate will have to change.”

Another solution presented to the board was hiring a full-time staff member for each school to fill in as a substitute when needed. The board dismissed this plan because of cost.

“That is the most expensive route,” said Terry Brister, district superintendent. “The answer is to get more retired teachers on the sub list.”

A retired teacher is certified and already receiving benefits from the school, so there would be no additional cost associated with health insurance.

The board voted to maintain the current substitute system until more feasible options become available.

The trustees also discussed an increase in the minimum cost for 16th Section lease agreements. The previous minimum bid of $5.50 per acre for 16th Section land was raised to $8 per acre. The increase came after discussion with state officials.

Brister concluded the meeting with the announcement that over the summer they will be replacing personnel at the schools and there will be construction or improvements made on every site this summer.