Archive for Thursday, December 28, 2006

USD 491 to contract substitute service

December 28, 2006

If a faculty member falls ill, Eudora USD 491 has a new way to find a replacement.

The members of the board of education unanimously approved a substitute teaching contract Dec. 14 with Morgan Hunter Companies.

Morgan Hunter is a Kansas City-based staffing agency.

The contract marks the first time a Kansas school district has relied on a temp agency for substitute teaching services.

"We're kind of running a pilot," Superintendent Marty Kobza said.

Districts in 48 other states have used similar programs.

"We're getting training and lots of advantages for our subs that we didn't have before," Kobza said.

Morgan Hunter won't officially take control of the substitute duties until February, and the program will run on a trial basis until May.

"When we originally looked at it we thought about the amount of personnel associated with the calling and payroll and just the day-to-day operation of the substitutes," Kobza said.

Morgan Hunter will handle the recruitment ---- including background checks ---- and the placement and training of teachers.

"Rather than add that to our program, we can move it over here," Kobza said. "We feel it's more economical for us at the moment."

Morgan Hunter will start by calling the district's current substitute list.

"They will be brought in if they want to be brought into the process," Kobza said.

The new contract could benefit the substitutes as a whole, Kobza said.

"If we have retired teachers who are subbing, they are not held back with a limitation to what they can earn because they are, in essence, not working for us," Kobza said.

With Morgan Hunter, substitutes will be eligible for work outside the normal school year.

The contract also gives retired teachers the opportunity to work without losing their state funded retirement benefits.

For the district, the contract's biggest advantage would be for the secretarial staff.

The contract will free up more time for the district's administrative staff that would have been spent calling the teachers and working with payroll.

"It's money we're spending (now) that we won't have to spend," Kobza said.

Anything that could save the district time and money was an advantage, Eudora school board member Bob Rice said.

By delaying the start of the contract until February, district officials want to make sure all the teachers are on the same page.

"We want plenty of time to orient the teachers on how the process is going to work," Kobza said.

The district will also offer training to the full-time teachers to acclimate them to the new system.

District officials will review the contract at the end of May.

"We don't want to roll something out that's going to flounder and have people frustrated by it," Kobza said.

For more information or to sign up to be a substitute teacher, call the district office at 542-4910.

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