Philly schools trying second outsourcing firm for substitute teachers

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The School Reform Commission is ending its relationship with Source for Teachers. (NewsWorks file photo)

The School Reform Commission is ending its relationship with Source for Teachers. (NewsWorks file photo)

The Philadelphia School District is parting ways with a private company that has been doing a bad job providing substitute teachers this year, but another one is on deck.

Tired of having to make do when Source4Teachers was unable to fill vacancies, the Philadelphia School District is switching staffing services.

“We have come to a mutual agreement with Source 4 Teachers to not move forward with a second year of the contract, so now we are going to be looking to put together a contract with Kelly staffing services moving forward starting July first,” said spokesman Fernando Gallard.

At its best Source4Teachers was only able to fill about 55 percent of the substitute needs. Some schools had only 10 percent filled. Gallard says Kelly has a better record.

“They have approximately 20 years in education staffing particularly in substitute teacher staffing, they have worked in very large districts and they have a good track record of improving the substitute rate,” he said.

Gallard says the contract did not have to be put out for bid.

All this school year, teachers have said the terrible fill rates have been a drain on them.  They have had to teach doubled-up classes or missed prep periods to cover for an absent colleague when no sub was available.  Part-way through the year, the district took back control of filling long-term vacancies so Source4Teachers could focus on the daily absences.

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