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District considers outsourcing hiring of substitute teachers

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines school district is considering hiring a temp agency to hire substitute teachers and teacher associates.

The school board could make its decision Tuesday on the proposed $854,000-a-year contract with Kelly Educational Staffing, the Des Moines Register ( ) reported.

District administrators say the temp agency would use the same standards for substitute teachers. The move could benefit students because the agency would increase Des Moines' competitiveness with suburban districts for qualified substitutes, according to Anne Sullivan, the district's chief of human resources.

About 190 of Des Moines' 2,800 classroom teachers are absent on any given day.

"This could be a viable option, and a viable solution," school board chairwoman Cindy Elsbernd said. "These are still going to be professional people."

But Andrew Rasmussen, president of the Des Moines teachers union, said outsourcing could cut the number of licensed substitutes who have completed a teacher preparation program.

"We have, as a union, always been against outsourcing the work of public employees to private corporations," he said.

East High School teacher Samy El-Baroudi, who also serves as the union's treasurer, said district officials are trying to find a solution to teachers and principals' complaints about filling substitute teacher positions.

"I just don't think it's the right solution," El-Baroudi said.

Kelly Educational Staffing has worked with school districts in several states, including Texas and Missouri. A message seeking comment from a company representative was left by the newspaper.


Information from: The Des Moines Register,

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