When they met Monday, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education approved an agreement with a firm that provides substitute teachers.
Currently, the district manages a pool of substitute teachers without the use of an outside firm. Associate Superintendent Eric Punswick said the new arrangement with Morgan Hunter Education Division should be cost neutral for the district.
Under the agreement, the district will pay Morgan Hunter $137 per day for each fully licensed substitute. The district will pay $127 for each emergency substitute.
Even though the district's costs associated with substitutes is expected to stay flat with the use of Morgan Hunter, Punswick said the arrangement could end up saving the district money in the long-run. That's because the district could face additional health insurance costs for substitute teachers it hires directly as a result of the federal Affordable Care Act.
Health insurance for substitutes now will be available through Morgan Hunter.
Punswick said another advantage of using Morgan Hunter is the firm's high success rate for filling substitute teacher requests.
Carol Schmidt, MHED manager, and Anna Hooper, MHED staffing specialist and trainer, addressed board members Monday.
They reviewed their company's application process as well as the training provided to substitute teachers.
"We do background checks annually," Hooper said.
She said Morgan Hunter will adopt the Leavenworth district's current substitute pool but be able to beef it up with substitute teachers from other pools.
Schmidt said the firm, which is based in Overland Park, currently provides support to the De Soto and Eudora school districts in Kansas.
Board member Mo Minchew asked what will happen to current substitute teachers who like being contracted individually with the district and don't want to be hired through Morgan Hunter.
Punswick said substitute teachers will have the option of being hired through Morgan Hunter or going to another district that doesn't use the firm.
Punswick said the district's contract with Morgan Hunter will be for one year.
"We only do one year at a time," he said.
The agreement was approved 6-1 with board member Loyal Torkelson voting against it. Board member Nancy Klemp did not attend the meeting but voted by telephone.
Also Monday, the board members were joined by Doug Darling and Mike Carney. The two men recently were elected to the Leavenworth Board of Education but their terms won't begin until July.
Darling and Carney were seated at tables with the current board members Monday, but the two men could not vote on motions or participate in executive sessions.
Verna Raines also was elected to a four-year term in the April 2 election but she already serves on the board.