Quakertown Community Schools to contract out for substitutes

Author: , WFMZ.com Reporter
Published: Nov 14 2013 11:33:30 PM EST
QUAKERTOWN, Pa. -

There was a time when a substitute teacher meant a day of mayhem and spit balls for mischievously-inclined students.

Now it's an emerging market in the education business and the Quakertown Community School District Board of Directors entered into a deal with a private company to provide the district with substitute teachers during Thursday night's meeting.

Source4Teachers, an educational staffing service based in Cherry Hill, N.J., will be will the exclusive agency to provide the district substitute teachers at a total cost of $130.15 per day for per diem substitutes and $164.40 per day for long-term per diem substitutes. The company will provide the teachers starting Feb. 1, 2014.

The district employs roughly 350 teachers, according to comments made by officials Thursday night. On an given day there will be about 30 absences, or about eight percent.

In other business Thursday night, directors approved three change orders involving the high school renovation project involving Skepton Construction, Inc. The first involved enhanced security fencing between the modular classrooms and the high school building in the amount of $40,752. The second centered around the demolition and reconstruction of two existing masonry chases at the southwest and northwest corners of the old gymnasium, due to damaged and unstable masonry at a cost of $53,747. The final change order OKd involved providing volleyball court markings and sleeves for a single court in addition to the two court layout in the old gym. That cost came in at $4,758.

The high school's makeover will total more than $71 million and is expected to last through 2017.

And directors reaffirmed last month's vote to approve a tax relief district to attract a major company to the district during their Thursday night meeting.

The final vote to approve Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance status for United States Cold Storage was required due to a technicality and was devoid of the drama normally associated with motion of this status and controversy. The LERTA resolution attracted only minor debate Thursday night, although it wouldn't have been approved if one district resident had his way.

Patrick Murphy, a 13-year resident of Richland Township urged directors to vote against the designation because the district and taxpayers can't afford it.

"Every year we are looking at raising taxes," he said.

Perhaps Murphy saw the futility in his persuasion tactics and left the building before a vote was actually taken. Directors granted the company a 10 percent per-year property tax exemption schedule for the next 10 years, with the first year starting at 100 percent forgiveness, dropping to 90 percent the second year and 10 percent each year after until completion.

The refrigeration company plans to build a new distribution warehouse at Heller and East Pumping Station roads in Richland Township, creating 100 jobs in the process.