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The Nebo School District is joining a growing group of Utah districts outsourcing substitute teachers.

Some 700 Nebo substitute teachers will transition through Kelly Educational Staffing starting in December, district spokeswoman Lana Hiskey said Monday. Subs with teaching licenses are paid $65 per day, while others earn $60.

Six other districts already contract with Kelly for the same service including Alpine, Cache, Logan, Provo, Wasatch, and Washington County school districts.

Kelly Services, whose so-called Kelly girls began as temporary workers in 1946, branched out into managing substitute teachers in 1997.

Hiskey said the district in Spanish Fork, south of Provo, expects to save money with the new Kelly partnership, although no figures were available.

"With huge budget cuts, we have to look at every avenue to save funds," Hiskey said.

Neal Summers, Kelly vice president in Salt Lake City, said there are several advantages for districts to contract with the temporary employment agency.

"We completely take over their substitute program," Summers said. "It allows them to focus on their core business."

Kelly pays the going salary rate at each district, ranging from about $60 to $75 a day in Utah, and charges an administrative fee that varies with each school system.

Nebo substitutes will be paid the same, either $60 or $65 per day. In simple terms, Nebo officials will pay Kelly an additional 37 percent to handle the substitutes, Summers said.

That means Nebo will pay Kelly $82.20 per substitute teacher without licenses, while the substitute receives $60.

Summers said Kelly takes the issue of subs out of a school administrator's day, so that he or she can focus on more important tasks. Kelly recruits, trains, schedules, and handles payroll.

In addition, Kelly substitutes can sign up for health care and 401K programs.

Melanie Shelley of the Provo City School District said the district signed up with Kelly about seven years ago.

"It's been extremely advantageous for us," Shelley said. "From an hourly stand point it has saved us so much time and money. Principals and secretaries would have to find the substitutes."

Shelley added one principal could spend up to two hours in the morning dealing with substitute teacher issues.

Utah educators, unlike most school systems in the nation, spend less time on finding substitutes because of fewer teacher absences.

Summers said national averages put the daily absentee teacher rate between 8 percent to 10 percent, while in Utah it's half that rate.

In Nebo schools, Kelly will simply hire the substitutes already on the district list. Nebo substitutes must become Kelly hires as of Jan. 14, the start of the new semester.

Summers said Kelly could contract with more Utah districts.

"I think education in general is looking for better ways to do things," he said.

Twitter: @rayutah —

Hiring substitute teachers and cafeteria workers

Kelly Educational Services is providing substitute teachers for Alpine, Cache, Logan, Provo, Nebo and Wasatch school districts, and cafeteria workers for the Cache and Logan districts.

The requirements to become a substitute teacher through Kelly Educational Staffing include obtaining a high school diploma or GED, the ability to read and write in English, favorable results on a seven-year criminal background check, and having experience working in an educational environment. Candidates must be at least 20. Applicants also must attend an informational session on substitute teaching after an interview as well as attend a mandatory, paid substitute-teacher-training course.