The cost of substitute teachers in the Santa Rosa County school system will rise an estimated 8.5 percent this year to $1.8 million, probably the largest annual increase ever, but officials say that could be a bargain.
“I think when you look at everything, we got a phenomenal deal,” Judson Crane, the district’s purchasing manager, told the Navarre Press.
The expected increase is largely due to the cost of a new contract to outsource the hiring of the 1,000 or so substitutes needed weekly for the 1,875 full-time instructors in the county’s 33 schools. Demand for subs is usually greatest on Fridays, according to school district records.
Outsourcing substitutes “gives us flexibility to avoid certain costs,” said Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick in a recent interview. That’s because the contract with Professional Education Services Group LLC, a Michigan-based company, includes all expenses arising from the need for substitutes, from the laborious task of phoning those in the county’s labor pool of about 400 occasional teachers to background checks on new applicants and administrating the payroll.
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