According to Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Charlotte Waguespack, those seeking employment as a substitute are fingerprinted prior to being hired by the Vermilion Parish School Board. This allows the school board to check and see if they are eligible to work for the school board.
“A lot of people come in and apply to sub so that they can go to unemployment,” Waguespack explained. “And therefore we are stuck with $7,500 worth of finger-printings for people who have never worked a day for us.”
Waguespack said the fees for fingerprinting costs the school board almost $19,000 last year and about $7,500 of that was spent on people who ended up never working for the school board.
About $500 out of that $7,500, Waguespack said, are people who ended up being ineligible to work for the school board.
There are two different fees for fingerprinting. The state fee is $26, and the federal fee is $19.25. The total cost for each individual to be fingerprinted is $45.25. This cost is currently absorbed by the school board.
In an effort to cut down on the costs, Waguespack said she looked into how other districts are handling the costs of the fingerprinting fees.
“So, I did a little bit of checking with surrounding districts to find out what they did for fingerprinting, and did they make the potential sub acquire some of the costs, and they do different things,” Waguespack said.
“Some districts make them pay the entire costs. Some of them make them pay the entire costs, but after they worked five times, they reimbursed them. Some make them pay half, and don’t reimburse them.”
The recommendation from Waguespack was to have those applying for substitute positions to pay a portion of the fees for fingerprinting: $20.
“All we’re trying to do is to stop people from abusing the system,” Superintendent Randy Schexnayder said, “and then trying to get unemployment by coming in and saying, ‘I applied at the school board office.’”
School Board Member Ricky LeBouef made a motion to have those seeking a position as a substitute pay $20 up-front for the fingerprinting fees. After a person works a total of five days with the school board, they are then eligible for a refund of the $20, which would be reimbursed to them at the end of that year.
All board members voted for the motion except for School Board Member Bill Searle.