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BASD directors say outsourcing subs requires more scrutiny

By Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 27 2014 08:42:23 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 28 2014 08:58:05 AM CST
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

Uncomfortable with the complexities inherent in outsourcing their substitute teacher staffing, the Bethlehem Area School District Board of Directors tabled a vote on the subject during Monday night's meeting.

"This subject warrants further discussion," said Director Angela Sinkler as she presented the motion to table the measure.

The vote to table the motion was 9-0 and no timetable was established as to when it would reappear for an up-or-down moment of truth. At least one director has already made up his mind.

"I would rather vote against the amendment but I will vote to table," said Director Basilio Bonilla, Jr.

The district has traditionally employed their own substitute teachers. However, an undertaking of that scope has required the district to recruit, hire, train, develop and manage a large temporary workforce for an area for which no funds are specifically allocated.

Before the board Monday night was a proposal that would have given that job to a company called Substitute Teacher Service,.

That company would have administered the substitutes who teach district students in the absence of the regular teacher.

The subs would be employed by STS, which would "maintain an adequate pool of substitutes with proper certifications to meet the district's needs," according to the proposal.

The agency would be responsible for all advertising, recruiting, selection, training and monitoring of performance, not BASD.

They'd also handle all payroll processing and assume any exposure for the employees' health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

In addition, BASD would have their hands clean of any PSERS contributions for this labor force.

In other business, directors approved a five-year employment contract between the district and Assistant Superintendent Jack Silva.

The contract starts on Nov. 1, 2104. The terms of the deal were not discussed during the directors' meeting.