CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake School Board, on a 4-1 vote, agreed Monday to hire Kelly Services to provide substitute teachers and paraprofessionals in the 2013-14 school year.
Kelly district manager Lana Lafrenz, at the board’s last meeting, estimated the cost at $205,216 for the service, an increase of $22,399 over what the district paid last year.
That difference, in part, kept board member Chad Kuhlers from voting for the proposal.
Mark Tesar, Sandy Christ, Deb Betz and Jill Wilhelm voted for the measure.
Kuhlers asked if there was another service that could offer a proposal, but Superintendent of Schools Anita Micich said she doubted there was another agency in Iowa that was ready to provide what Kelly could.
Micich said the benefits to the proposal are that Kelly would provide training to an extent that the district could not, as well as manage its staff.
Christ said she liked the fact the substitutes would have “the opportunity to buy health insurance in a nationwide pool” that would most likely be cheaper than what the district could provide.
“And, with the Affordable Care Act, we could have cost ... although unknown” of insurance the district might have to offer, she said.
Betz said she had heard concerns about lack of contribution to IPERS (Iowa Public Employees Retirement System), but Lafrenz said that Kelly could offer unlimited hours to retirees — retirees are limited under IPERS — and they could also work summer hours.
She said that Kelly offered a bonus plan that could provide additional dollars to substitutes.
Micich said Kelly would pay for background checks that, at a minimum of $50, was also now paid by the district. Lafrenz also said the district would not be penalized for hiring a teacher from the pool for a full-time job.
Kuhlers wanted to know if there was any control over an increase in cost from Kelly. Lafrenz admitted that she could not control some costs — if large increases were required of Social Security, for instance.
While Kelly could absorb some increases, it may not be able to absorb all.
Lafrenz at an earlier meeting said Kelly would also be responsible for paying other hidden costs, from worker compensation costs to materials and manuals.
Some of the benefits may be a larger pool of teachers, as Mason City and Garner-Hayfield/ Ventura consider a similar move.
Hampton-Dumont has been using the service for two years.
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