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School Board Privatizes Teachers’ Aides’ Substitutes

Board president says move is not first step in privatizing all para-professionals.

The school district’s 15 or so substitute paraprofessionals were privatized at the Aug. 20 Board of Education meeting.

The move is not a first step in privatizing all the district’s paraprofessionals, district representatives said.

The move came in the form of an amendment to the contract the district has with Source4Teachers, through which it privatized the district’s substitute teachers last year.

Privatizing the substitute teachers – which took effect during the 2014-2015 school year – “worked very well,” said school board president Ed Potosnak. “It saved the district a significant amount of money.”

Under the $2.4 million amendment, the district will pay $108 per day for long-term paraprofessional substitutes – who will be paid $80 per day – and $94.50 per day for all other substitute paraprofessionals, who will be paid $70 per day.

Potosnak said the district needed to do this because its pool of substitute paraprofessionals is small, and it was often finding the need to call in substitute teachers to fill in when a paraprofessional was out.

Under this plan, the substitute paraprofessionals would also be eligible for benefits because they could potentially work more than 30 hours per week, something the district could not afford, said Jackie Schneider, the district’s assistant director of personnel.

The substitutes will also have the ability to work in districts other than Franklin, she said.

“It gives the substitute paraprofessionals we have better opportunities,” she said.

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