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Monday, April 6, 2015

Why is the Duval County School Board giving away millions of dollars to headhunters?

From the Times Union: Duval’s School Board will decide whether to hire a firm to help it recruit physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and school nurses to work in Duval schools.

Issue: Professional Placement Resources, based in Jacksonville Beach, provides contract workers and recruits personnel for school districts, charter schools and rehabilitation facilities around the country.
The district currently contracts with 87 of its 160 speech language pathologists, most of its 40 nurses and two of its 40 occupational and physical therapists.
It’s more expensive to employ them by contract than to hire them outright. Contract costs have risen from $5.5 million three years ago to a projected $7.7 million this school year.
In each of the past three years the percentage of contract workers grew, and the percentage of district employees fell.
“Our goal is to reduce our reliance on contracted services … and hire our own personnel at reduced cost, build internal capacity and sustainability,” district officials wrote.
The contract to recruit for the district extends to September 30, 2017, with three potential one-year renewals.
Cost: Maximum of $259,000 a year, including a $5,500 implementation fee, a $4,000 monthly fee and a $9,000 fee per person hired the first year and $5,000 the second year.

So much for privatization saving money right. Sheesh and what’s even worse is I would bet dollars to doughnuts these contracted employees get paid less and have worse benefits than their district colleagues.

Um, here is an idea, end our current contract and hire the people we already have in place. Now sure there is probably a no compete clause or something ridiculous like that but strangely I have a feeling that if we ended the contract then suddenly a lot of school nurses and speech paths will suddenly be on the market.

Also if you do the math we could still be spending millions recruiting. Why can’t the district hire four or five people at 65 k a year and have them do the hiring and recruiting? We could save over a million dollars a year. Are we being lazy, incompetent or are we rewarding a friend of the school board with a huge contract.

Basically the districts solution to the escalating cost of contracting is to enter into a potentially multi-million dollar contract. Welcome to Duval County, where up is down, black is white and people jump on he furniture with impunity.

1 comment:

  1. It's important to distinguish between FL-DOH nurses and DCPS nurses. The DCPS nurses are only in certain schools that have an ESE component requiring it (CSS, PI, or diabetics) THE REST of the schools are covered by a meager DOH staff, eacn nurse is responsible for 7-9 schools. We are NOT employed by DCPS, but our contract is not as a contractor, but as a partnership between DOH and DCPS...I promise you there's no head hunter fees involved. We only make $20 an hour.