The Ascension Parish School System is considering outsourcing the hiring of substitute teachers with an employment agency, at annual savings of more than $357,000.

The School Board at its meeting Tuesday gave Superintendent Patrice Pujol the authority to contract with Kelly Services for the school system’s substitute teachers.

“It’s a more efficient means” of handling the substitute teacher function of the school system, as well as a cost savings, Pujol said.

Kelly Services will handle the hiring of substitute teachers at an annual cost of approximately $3 million compared with the approximately $3.36 million the School Board is looking at spending in light of new health insurance requirements.

New requirements of the Affordable Care Act that would require health insurance for substitute teachers working more than 30 hours in a week were a large part of what motivated the school system to look into outsourcing, Pujol said.

Kelly Services provides several services not provided by the School Board, Pujol said, including active recruitment and training of substitute teachers, as well as paying bonuses and benefits to qualified substitutes.

Prior to the School Board’s regular meeting, members of the Strategic Planning Committee heard from Chad Lynch, planning and construction director, about the search for property in the parish where a new school can be built to relieve overcrowding at Dutchtown Primary and Spanish Lake Primary.

Lynch and his staff are gathering information on possible sites off La. 73 near La. 621.

The committee also directed Lynch to continue getting information on logging several hundred acres of property the School Board owns on La. 61 in Sorrento as an additional source of revenue for the school system.

The property, which is all wetlands, isn’t suitable as a site for a school, but can be logged, following certain guidelines, said Scott Duplechin, demographics application specialist with the Planning and Construction Department.