Douglas Education Service District has contracted with a private company to recruit and hire substitute teachers for local schools.
EduStaff, LLC, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will staff licensed substitute teachers in the 13 Douglas County school districts beginning Nov. 1.
Superintendent Michael Lasher said in an email there are normally 300 substitute teachers contracted in Douglas County at any given time.
But many substitutes have chosen not to teach during the pandemic, he said.
“COVID-19 has impacted education, which has required the education community to think of new ways to meet the needs of students. Substitutes are a valued part of our community and integral to the daily operations of schools,” Lasher said.
Turnover rates also tend to be high because many substitutes are hired directly by schools that are facing gaps due to a teacher shortage countywide and statewide, Lasher said.
Partnering with EduStaff is a cost-efficient and effective way to provide the schools with substitute teachers, he said.
The company will recruit and hire the needed substitutes. Lasher hopes the streamlined service will attract new substitutes for the district.
He said the change will reduce the cost of hiring substitutes, saving the district money.
According to EduStaff’s website, it is one of the largest educational staffing companies in the nation.
The company was formed in 2010 to provide substitutes for Michigan school districts, and now provides 20,000 substitute teachers and support staff daily to schools across the country.