Carlisle joins growing movement and outsources classroom aides

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jul 3, 2017 10:53 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A growing movement has been underway to outsource jobs in school districts, and at least one in the midstate is adding another group to the list.

The move won't happen all at once - Carlisle Area School District Superintendent John Friend says only new classroom aides and new personal care assistants will be affected.

But it will mean the district won't provide health insurance or pay into the state employees retirement system for new employees in those positions.

A staffing company called Mission One will recruit potential aides or assistants, district staff will then interview them, and the firm will hire ones who have been approved.

Friend says the move to privatization is due to budget pressures, and adds he's confident students won't notice.

"As many people we can move off of our PSERS and off of our health insurance and still provide the quality of support to our students and our teachers in the district, I think districts are going to have to look at that," says Friend.

Friend says because of the outsourcing, Carlisle has been able to raise the hourly rate for classroom aides and personal care assistants.

He notes other districts in Cumberland County have also outsourced staff, continuing a trend that has picked up in recent years.

"I do think it's going to continue to pop up, even though there's been some changes in the PSERS. It's still an extremely high rate for school districts to pay," he adds.

He says within the past couple of years, Carlisle outsourced substitute teachers and its placement rate has actually risen.

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