02-13-2018 School Board Workshop (Kelly Services & Supt. Contract)

The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met for a workshop Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Eagle newspaper on Thursday, February 1, 2018. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Opening Exercises

Minutes: Chairman John Craig called the meeting to order at: 2:01 p.m.

Roll Call
2. Roll Call

Minutes: Members Present:  Misty Belford, John Craig, Tina Descovich, Matt Susin and Andy Ziegler

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Minutes: Chairman John Craig led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Order of Business
4. Kelly Services
Attachment: Comparison of Substitute Pay with Various Districts.pdf
Attachment: Copy of Kelly Services Cost Comparison.pdf
Attachment: Kelly Services Summary.pdf

Chairman Craig began by making comments that staff looked into outsourcing substitutes at the direction of the Board.  He followed up by saying that there was no pre-conceived notion as to how best fix the underlying problems that make finding substitutes an issue.

Dr. Blackburn said that he is no longer bringing Kelly Services to the Board either way. Chief financial officer Zuercher gave two documents with services that Kelly would provide. Chairman Craig reiterated that we need to look at solutions as what we are doing is not currently working.  .

Mr. Ziegler said he was advocating for a hybrid solution. He feels to have a relationship with an employee leasing company is an essential part of the solution. He doesn't know if that has to be Kelly Services or another company and didn't know whether or not it should go out on bid or RFP. He agreed with a statement made by Chairman Craig; that more recruiting might be part of the staffing solution. Mr. Ziegler asked what are the challenges we are trying to solve?  He thinks that we should analyze data that is currently available to us before make a decision to outsource finding substitutes. He said that there are reasons that subs do not take particular jobs and/or schools. He further commented that we need to incentivize subs and that we need to address the reasons why subs are not filling positions and a larger sub pool is not necessarily going to solve that problem. 

He provided some incentive suggestions:

  • Make sure everyone is trained on SmartFind
  • Offer either free or reduced cost access to employee health care centers if they work a minimum number of hours (suggested 16 hours) including one Friday a month.  Working on Friday gives you double the hours toward access to health care centers.
  • Have a relationship with a agency such as Kelly Services.  Some substitutes may want to opt for this model so they have access to full insurance.
  • Rate increase
  • Provide incentives to take least desirable positions (IA, VPK, ESE, certain schools)
  • Ask the subs what they want for lunch from the cafeteria so it can be ready for them when they have lunch time (idea came  from Columbia Elementary) and/or offer to pay for a school lunch.
  • Hybrid solution giving substitutes options and flexibility

Mr. Craig asked if the recently completed compensation study included substitutes and Dr. Kindt responded that no, it did not.

Ms. Belford asked if they had compared Brevard's substitute pay with other districts. Ms. Zuercher did have information on how we compare to other districts which she shared.

Mr. Craig commented that at the workshop with BFT, best practices at the schools will be discussed.

Ms. Belford asked if we know approximately the education breakdown of our subs. Dr. Kindt said she did not have that information currently, but it can be provided.

Ms. Descovich asked if the "hybrid" model is feasible; is it being done somewhere else. Staff did not know.  Ms. Belford let the Board know that during her Leadership Florida classes, there were several district represented that utilized and liked Kelly Services.  In addition to helping with the sub issues, each of those districts have hired a significant number of employees from Kelly Services. Those districts are also looking at it as teacher recruitment as well.  

Board discussion proceeded about schools utilizing Smart Find and that fill rate data out is only as good as data in. Ms. Belford said in her area, three to four days a week, teachers are splitting classes because they do not have substitutes. There was brief discussion about full time subs.

Dr. Soliven said she felt that they could capture an amazing number of substitutes with a blitz about hiring.

Dr. Kindt was able to provide information about the number of subs and pay: 136 subs paid at $8.25 hourly; 63 at $8.75 with aa degree; 795 at $12.50 with bachelors degree.; 230 at $16.25 retired. There have been 1224 subs that have worked at least 30 hours within the last year.

Ms. Belford cautioned that we will need to look at the cost of items being proposed. We need to look at training for substitutes.  Mr. Craig further commented that training is essential and that as policies and procedures change at the district level, substitutes are continually informed.

Dr. Blackburn said he wanted to make sure where the board wanted to go from here.  He wanted to talk about cost and privatization.  He said that 1) they know the solution will cost something and 2) looking at Kelly or any other employee leasing organization is privatization.

Dr. Blackburn asked for feedback from the board on how much is too much to spend and how the board feels about privatization.

Mr. Ziegler reiterated that he felt that privatization was part of the solution. Dr. Blackburn asked if the 1.2 million already on the table is too much.  Ms. Descovich said that she cannot make a determination until she see all of the options. She is ok with privatization if it is the best thing for our kids. Ms. Belford commented that the loss of instruction for our kids is an enormous cost that must be considered. Mr. Susin said looking at cost, to get to a 98% fill rate will cost a lot more than $1.2M when you take away the variances. He cautioned to avoid in-services on Fridays which is the worst time to get a substitute. He is ok with privatization if the cost can be justified.

Dr. Blackburn clarified that  no one on the board had an issue with privatization. He said there are four options that he sees: 1) do nothing, 2) leverage our current resources, by mandating use of our current technology to get some clean data 3) a hybrid solution and 4) capital. He is concerned about doing nothing. He is also concerned about just how much a hybrid model would be feasible for the coming school year considering the amount of time it would take to investigate.

Ms. Belford asked what the length of the contract with Kelly would be.  Dr. Kindt waid they would piggyback with Orange county and it would be two years.  Ms. Belford continued that as part of leveraging, there are a couple of things they neglected to do. Certainly they need to do the push to make sure schools are utilizing the current sub system and get the word out that substitutes are needed.  However, she feels they need to also look at the cause of absences and also be cognizant of trainings/activities that are going on throughout the district and plan accordingly so there are not multiple ones on the same day.  She suggests having some sort of universal training schedule so that everyone can see it. She is not willing to do nothing.   Her recommendation is to move forward with an initial contract with Kelly Services so they can have substitutes in place next year, while they look into leveraging other internal resources to keep costs down.

Mr. Susin offered the suggestion of  upping salaries of substitutes in targeted areas. Incentive based programs could be put in immediately.  He doesn't want to enter in to a contact with Kelly Services and then have to wait the 120 days to cancel it.

Ms. Descovich asked for clarification of the Kelly Services contract. Ms. Zuercher said that either the district or Kelly Services could get out of the contract with a 30 day notice. Ms. Descovich  is not comfortable moving forward with Kelly Service without having good data to look at.  She did like looking into some of the incentive suggestions that Mr. Ziegler had brought forward. Mr. Susin clarified that the 30 day clause was for "due cause."  It is 120 without "due cause." 

Dr. Blackburn asked if Mr. Susin was in favor leveraging current resources, and a hybrid solution.  Mr. Susin said yes and added that if there is a way for Kelly to put together a proposal at the last minute, he would look at it. Dr. Blackburn had Ms. Descovich down for leverage current resources. She clarified she would look at a hybrid solution. 

Mr. Craig said he believed the entire reason they were holding the workshop was to offer their perspective.  He continued that in the long run, it is up to Dr. Blackburn to bring the path he feels is right back to the board as far as the nuances and specifics.  Mr. Craig said he agreed with Ms. Descovich in that we don't have the data to make a decision and he agreed that they cannot "do nothing."

 Dr. Blackburn said there are some things that cannot be predicted so he does not see that kind of data being available to the board. He said he sees either leveraging current resources and/or forcing the substitute system to create data that will stand on its own or jumping in headfirst into Kelly Services.

Chairman Craig thanked everyone for their hard work and suggestions.



Closing Remarks
5. Adjournment

Minutes: Chairman Craig adjourned the workshop at: 3:41 p.m.

For further details pertaining to this meeting, please refer to the published video on the School Board of Brevard County's website (www.brevardschools.org).