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How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Jacksonville, Florida

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Duval County Public Schools, which serves the Jacksonville area, outsources its substitute teacher staffing to Kelly Educational Staffing, a private firm. Kelly recruits and trains all substitute teachers and provides the district with qualified substitutes when a need arises. To become a substitute teacher with Duval County Public Schools, candidates must meet both the district and Kelly's requirements. Substitute teachers working in DCPS are technically employees of Kelly, not the district, and are paid by Kelly according to district pay guidelines.

State and District Requirements

Kelly screens candidates to make sure they meet the minimum eligibility requirements set by DCPS. All applicants must have at least 60 semester credit hours, though they are not necessarily required to have a degree, according to the DCPS employment procedures. They must also submit to fingerprinting and a background check, the results of which will impact the candidate’s employment eligibility. Those who have been convicted of a statutory felony, statutory misdemeanor, any felony offense within the last 10 years, or two misdemeanors within the last five years are prohibited from working for the district. Candidates with felonies from more than 10 years ago or misdemeanor offenses from more than five years ago will be carefully reviewed. Florida state law prohibits those convicted of certain felonies or misdemeanors from working as instructional personnel in a school. Disqualifying offenses include murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, child abuse and possession of certain weapons, among others.

Kelly Requirements

In addition to state and district requirements, Kelly asks that substitute teaching candidates meet some supplementary criteria. Altough DCPS requires substitute teaching candidates to have a minimum of 60 semester credit hours, it does not specify what qualifies as an acceptable college or university. Kelly, however, specifically states that these credit hours must be earned at an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Kelly requires all candidates to submit an official college transcript reflecting the highest degree they have completed. Kelly also states that candidates must have previous work experience and should submit two professional letters of reference on company letterhead. Finally, Kelly requires that all substitute teachers be able to work at least one Friday and one Monday of each month.

Application Process

Those wishing to work as substitute teachers within DCPS should contact Kelly’s Jacksonville office by phone, email or in person, to inquire about current available positions. The office is located at 4168 Southpoint Parkway, Suite 201, Jacksonville, FL 32216. The office’s phone number is 904-245-7555, and the email address is Candidates can also search for available positions online through Kelly’s Duval County search tool. All candidates must initially complete a pre-screen form online to determine if they are eligible for a position with DCPS. After passing the screening and completing the application, qualified candidates will be asked to participate in a formal, in-person interview at the Kelly office. Candidates with successful interviews will be fingerprinted immediately following the interview at the Kelly office. The candidate must cover the cost of the fingerprinting services. Finally, candidates will be required to complete a two-hour online information course and a two-hour orientation course.

Pay and Benefits

Kelly’s pay scale for substitute teachers working within DCPS varies based on the substitute’s education level. Individuals with no college degree or an associate degree earn the least, while those with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree earn slightly more. Teachers are paid weekly through direct deposit. Substitute teachers working for Kelly also enjoy additional benefits that may not be offered to substitute teachers who work directly for a district. Substitute teachers that are employed by districts as part-time hourly workers are not entitled to health benefits or retirement plans. However, Kelly employees have access to health benefits, service bonus pay and a 401K plan.


Marie Gentile has a passion for personal finance and style, and takes a special interest in the places where they intersect. She specializes in writing about money management and frugal living. Gentile has a bachelor's degree in journalism and has been published in several personal finance-related print and online publications.

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