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Phila. School Reform Commission Votes To Outsource Substitute Teachers

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Some 1,000 substitute teachers in Philadelphia just lost their jobs with the school district. The School Reform Commission voted unanimously to outsource the jobs to a New Jersey company.

A $34 million contract was awarded to Source4Teachers of Cherry Hill. The District's chief talent officer Naomi Wyatt says it's needed because budget cuts and hiring rules have made managing subs so difficult that some 400 classrooms a day don't have teachers.

"That's significantly impacting student instruction time and it's impacting teachers who have to sacrifice their planning and prep time to fill in for these empty classrooms," said Wyatt.

Wyatt says Source4Teachers has promised to staff 90 percent of unmanned classrooms by January and at a savings of $1 million a year. She speculated the company would be paying less.

The teachers union called the move part of the ongoing attempt to privatize public education and says it's considering an Unfair Labor Practice complaint.

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