Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) is the 22nd largest public school system in the United States serving more than 110,000 students in 176 schools and programs. The district employs more than 9,450 teachers and encompasses a community of urban, suburban, and rural populations.
With the national educator shortage and pandemic-related attrition, covering teacher absences became a strain on the district. By the 2021-22 school year, fill rates for substitute teachers averaged 57%. Recruiting, hiring, and retaining substitute teachers to meet growing demand created administrative burdens for human resources, principals, central office payroll, and operations staff.
“The volume of substitute talent needed coupled with turnover was becoming more than we could efficiently handle,” said Laura Lough, the supervisor of temporary services for Baltimore County Public Schools. "Costs were rising as we were paying teachers OT to cover classrooms during prep periods."
New staffing provider engaged qualified and reliable talent.
After several strategic meetings and consultation with Kelly Education and various district stakeholders, the school board approved the staffing partnership and contract in June 2022.
That summer, the Kelly® Education team of recruiters, onboarders, compliance and payroll specialists all worked to transition existing substitute teachers and recruit, onboard, and train a more diverse and dynamic pool. As a result, 730 substitute educators were ready to start the year. The team added 370 more during the next month and fill-rates steadily grew—often reaching 80%. By the end of the school year, the talent pool included 1,970 qualified and reliable employees.
Kelly Education deployed digital and grassroots recruiting strategies that engaged both active and passive applicants who were motivated to do meaningful work in schools within the Baltimore community.
“The partnership has exceeded many expectations, especially in quickly implementing recruitment and onboarding processes that are more targeted and timelier,” said Lough. She credits Kelly Education for also streamlining credentialing, background checks, and mandatory training to upskill talent before they ever enter the classroom.
The company also provides perks and benefits that the district couldn’t offer—which has led to higher retention rates for the district.