IRS & Dept of Treasury provide further explanation on Affordable Care Act one-year implementation delay — Is this sufficient information to satisfy TE School District?

Special thanks Roberta Hotinski for sending the link to the latest announcement from the IRS and the Treasury Department of the ‘Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions’ for 2014 which was released on Tuesday!

Federal government Notice 2013-45 was provided as a follow-up to the July 2 alert from the Treasury Department announcing a one-year delay in the effective dates of certain Affordable Care Act provisions including the annual information reporting requirements and the employer shared responsibiity provisions — these provisionso of the ACA will now be fully effective for 2015 rather than 2014.

The IRS followed up its decision to delay these key provisions by publishing Notice 2013-45 below which outlines the additional time for input from employers in an effort to provide time for employers to adapt to the health coverage and the reporting process. Notice 2013-45 provides the background and guidelines for the one-year transition period, including the the employer shared responsibility provisions.

Is there sufficient information contained in this update to satisty the questions of the TE School Board and District solicitor?  Upon review of Notice 2013-45, will the District reinstate the hours of the aides, paraeducators and paraprofessionals?

Transition Relief for 2014 Under §§ 6055 (§ 6055 Information Reporting), 6056 (§ 6056 Information Reporting) and 4980H (Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions)
NOT-129718-13

Notice 2013-45

I. PURPOSE AND OVERVIEW

This notice provides transition relief for 2014 from (1) the information reporting requirements applicable to insurers, self-insuring employers, and certain other providers of minimum essential coverage under § 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) (§ 6055 Information Reporting), (2) the information reporting requirements applicable to applicable large employers under § 6056 (§ 6056 Information Reporting), and (3) the employer shared responsibility provisions under § 4980H (Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions). This transition relief will provide additional time for input from employers and other reporting entities in an effort to simplify information reporting consistent with effective implementation of the law. This transition relief also is intended to provide employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage time to adapt their health coverage and reporting systems. Both the information reporting and the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions will be fully effective for 2015. In preparation for that, once the information reporting rules have been issued, employers and other reporting entities are encouraged to voluntarily comply with the information reporting provisions for 2014. This transition relief through 2014 for the information reporting and Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions has no effect on the effective date or application of other Affordable Care Act provisions.

II. BACKGROUND

Sections 6055, 6056, and 4980H were added to the Code by §§ 1502, 1514, and 1513, respectively, of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted March 23, 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-148.1 Section 6055 requires annual information reporting by health insurance issuers, self-insuring employers, government agencies, and other providers of health coverage. Section 6056 requires annual information reporting by applicable large employers relating to the health insurance that the ————————————— 1 Section 4980H was amended by § 1003 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA) (enacted March 30, 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-152) and was further amended by § 1858(b)(4) of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (enacted April 15, 2011, Pub. L. No. 112-10). Section 6056 was amended by §§ 10106(g) and 10108(j) of the ACA and was further amended by § 1858(b)(5) of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011. In this notice, the term Affordable Care Act refers to the ACA and HCERA, collectively. ————————————– employer offers (or does not offer) to its full-time employees. Section 4980H(a) imposes an assessable payment on an applicable large employer that fails to offer minimum essential coverage to its full-time employees (and their dependents) under an eligible employer-sponsored plan if at least one full-time employee enrolls in a qualified health plan for which a premium tax credit is allowed or paid. Section 4980H(b) imposes an assessable payment on an applicable large employer that offers minimum essential coverage to its full-time employees (and their dependents) under an eligible employer-sponsored plan but has one or more full-time employees who enroll in a qualified health plan for which a premium tax credit is allowed or paid (for example, if the coverage offered either does not provide minimum value or is not affordable to that full-time employee).

III. TRANSITION RELIEF

Q-1. When will the rules be published regarding § 6055 Information Reporting and § 6056 Information Reporting? How will these provisions apply for 2014?

A-1. The Affordable Care Act requires information reporting under § 6055 by insurers, self-insuring employers, government agencies, and certain other parties that provide health coverage and requires information reporting under § 6056 by applicable large employers with respect to the health coverage offered to their full-time employees. Proposed rules for the information reporting provisions are expected to be published this summer. The proposed rules will reflect the fact that transition relief will be provided for information reporting under §§ 6055 and 6056 for 2014. This transition relief will provide additional time for dialogue with stakeholders in an effort to simplify the reporting requirements consistent with effective implementation of the law. It will also provide employers, insurers, and other reporting entities additional time to develop their systems for assembling and reporting the needed data. Employers, insurers, and other reporting entities are encouraged to voluntarily comply with these information reporting provisions for 2014 (once the information reporting rules have been issued) in preparation for the full application of the provisions for 2015. However, information reporting under §§ 6055 and 6056 will be optional for 2014; accordingly, no penalties will be applied for failure to comply with these information reporting provisions for 2014.

Q-2. What does the 2014 transition relief for § 6056 Information Reporting mean for application of the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions for 2014?

A-2. Under the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions, an applicable large employer generally must offer affordable, minimum value health coverage to its full-time employees or a shared responsibility payment may apply if one or more of its full-time employees receive a premium tax credit under § 36B. The § 6056 Information Reporting is integral to the administration of the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions. In particular, because an employer typically will not know whether a full-time employee received a premium tax credit, the employer will not have all of the information needed to determine whether it owes a payment under § 4980H. Accordingly, the employer is not required to calculate a payment with respect to § 4980H or file returns submitting such a payment. Instead, after receiving the information returns filed by applicable large employers under § 6056 and the information about employees claiming the premium tax credit for any given calendar year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will determine whether any of the employer’s full-time employees received the premium tax credit and, if so, whether an assessable payment under § 4980H may be due. If the IRS concludes that an employer may owe such an assessable payment, it will contact the employer, and the employer will have an opportunity to respond to the information the IRS provides before a payment is assessed.

For this reason, the transition relief from § 6056 Information Reporting for 2014 is expected to make it impractical to determine which employers owe shared responsibility payments for 2014 under the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions. Accordingly, no employer shared responsibility payments will be assessed for 2014. However, in preparation for the application of the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions beginning in 2015, employers and other affected entities are encouraged to voluntarily comply for 2014 with the information reporting provisions (once the information reporting rules have been issued) and to maintain or expand health coverage in 2014. Real-world testing of reporting systems and plan designs through voluntary compliance for 2014 will contribute to a smoother transition to full implementation for 2015.

Q-3. Does this affect employees’ access to the premium tax credit?

A-3. No. Individuals will continue to be eligible for the premium tax credit by enrolling in a qualified health plan through the Affordable Insurance Exchanges (also called Health Insurance Marketplaces) if their household income is within a specified range and they are not eligible for other minimum essential coverage, including an eligible employer-sponsored plan that is affordable and provides minimum value.

Q-4. What does this mean for other provisions in the Affordable Care Act?

A-4. This transition relief through 2014 for § 6055 Information Reporting, § 6056 Information Reporting, and the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions has no effect on the effective date or application of other Affordable Care Act provisions, such as the premium tax credit under § 36B and the individual shared responsibility provisions under § 5000A.

IV. DRAFTING INFORMATION

The principal author of this notice is Kathryn Johnson of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt & Government Entities). For further information regarding this notice contact Kathryn Johnson at (202) 927-9639 (not a toll-free call).

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57 Comments

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  1. The school board has acted responsibly (waiting for confirmation) and with transparency (open discussion at a public meeting and subsequent press release) in reaction to the ACA reporting requirement delay.
    .
    Will anyone give them credit?

    [Reply]

    T/E aide Reply:

    Credit? Acting responsibly would have been not giving admins a bonus. Or forgo the bonus, knowing that hours will be cut for aides who actually work with the students. The students that the board always say come first. Money from bonus and left over money that rainy day fund will give the students (remember the board says students come first) what is needed. Responsible? This board is far from responsible. They rather have leather chairs for a library ( according to people at CHS).

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    TE Aide,
    .
    Let’s remember that the board was forced to act because of ACA and the initial board solution with STS would have kept hours the same for the aides that actually work with the students. The status quo, in May, was not an option. Why didn’t you like this solution?
    .
    The Act 93 bonus is a canard and is only distantly related to the para issue, but let’s address it anyway. The bonus for the admins amounted to 1% of salary (~$1,500) and is the most responsible way to increase compensation. (it disappears in the subsequent year) Why have I not heard from someone complaining about the $2,500 bonus (~3%) coming to the teachers?

    [Reply]

    TESD resident Reply:

    For the record, that bonus for the Administration was on top of a 1% salary increase for each and every of the next 5 years plus bonuses to be decided.

    The aides have not had a raise for 4 years, prior to the 1% just approved, but it came with a 10-20% reduction in hours!!!

    Not to mention that the aides would have had at least a 10% pay reduction in hourly pay if they had to work with STS plus the loss of 10 sick days and 12 vacation days AND a complete loss of all the money PSERS put into their retirement fund (listed as part of their legitimate compensation each year – so it is really stealing) given that they were not yet vested. And if they were vested, the PSERS money would be lost in ongoing years. 22 days is more than a month’s worth of days, plus12% from PSERS in total adds up to a possible total of about 22%, in reduced income working for STS. And THAT is why the sides “didn’t like” that solution.

    Neal Colligan Reply:

    Keith,
    Interested in your interpretation of the above post/pronouncement. Pretty confusing if you don’t know all of the sections of the code referenced but I can follow the gist. Does this answer the question of “are we safe now giving full-time hours back the these employees without offering benefits while still staying out of the penalties/fines/taxes under the ACA”? Bad wording but you can understand my question. The pronouncement does not deal with the measurement period but it seems pretty clear that employer penalties under the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions are waived for 2014.

    You may have a different take and I’d be interested in hearing it.

    [Reply]

    TESYParent Reply:

    I couldn’t understand it either. It is quite confusing. It leads me to conclude the only 100% sure fire way to steer clear of penalties is to keep the reduced hours. Perhaps that is what the TESB has been trying to say all along?

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Neal,

    The IRS bulletin is quite clear [to those familiar with the lingo]:

    “This notice provides transition relief for 2014 from …. the employer shared responsibility provisions under § 4980H” (penalties/fines/taxes)
    .
    and
    .
    “no employer shared responsibility payments will be assessed for 2014.”

    .
    Going forward for 2015 I believe the board has 3 options:
    1) keep aides as employees of the district and limit weekly hours below 30.
    2) keep aides as employees of the district, provide the same healthcare plan as the administrators [expensive] and allow weekly hours above 30.
    3) keep aides as employees of the district, provide a minimal healthcare plan to satisfy ACA requirement and allow weekly hours above 30.
    4) outsource aides to a temporary agency where the averaging rules allow 37.5 hour per week employees for 41 weeks to be classified as 29.6 hour employees over 52 weeks. [this averaging rule is not available for school districts].
    .
    No one likes 1).
    The expense is too high with 2).
    I could be wrong, but I don’t think 3) will pass ACA discrimination rules.
    With an upward salary adjustment to compensate for the loss of a pension, I think everyone (employees, taxpayers, students) benefits from 4).

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Keith — Based on the latest IRS notice, what do you think the options are for the School Board fo the 2013/14 school year? Is your interpretation of Notice 2013-45, that the Board can reinstate the aides/paras hours for 2013/14 school year without any penalty. Thanks.

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Yes, I’m fairly certain that the Board can reinstate the aides/paras hours for 2013/14 school year without any penalty.
    .
    But, if I were a school director I’d get several opinions before acting.

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thanks Keith.

    Neal Colligan Reply:

    Thanks K,

    So the real choice’s will have to be made in one year (if the Board elects to return the hours now). These will leave your list of options which could change as the ACA is further modified/implemented. This would also give the District another year to begin to deal with their Cadillac plans offered to the highest benefited employees if they decide to take on that task to avoid the ACA’s high-value plan penalties. This could make the discriminatory test easier to get into compliance…yes, I’m still hopeful option 3 is do-able although I concede the logic of option 4.

    What are you doing with your Cadillac plans if you have them. Clearly they are negotiated and part of certain employment agreements but will they be a focus for your Board’s employment negotiations as they become subject to the 40% (over a certain limit) ACA tax?

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Neal,
    .
    “In the Democrats’ reconciliation bill – actually an amendment to the Senate-passed health bill – a high-cost health plan is defined as costing more than $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family”. The penalties don’t occur until 2018 and the limits are indexed to inflation.
    .
    TE and UCF costs are far below the limits so I don’t see a problem with the Cadillac tax. UCF’s costs are about $6K for a single and $16K for a family. I think TE’s are a bit higher. The advantage PA school districts have is a younger workforce with lower healthcare needs. (we have such a generous pension plan that it makes little sense to work beyond 55)

    Neal Colligan Reply:

    K,

    Right. Looking at the benefits costs for the TE and I see family plan costs in the $17,500 to $20,500 range at the top end. Single plans top out around $7,500. These are total costs (employee and employer). So, you’re “right on” again. Only thing we can’t know is health care cost inflation from now until 2018.

    Thanks,
    N

    Shining Light Reply:

    Neal,

    Could you please write more about the “cadillac plan penalties you and Keith are talking about.

    What is it? what are you talking about? Who pays for it?

    Keith, I’m sure you know all about it so I wouldn’t mind if you chimed in too. Ha! That’s a first!

    Neal Colligan Reply:

    SL,

    Keith did a great job above. If, in 2018, an employer provides health insurance plans over the limits Keith listed; the employer would be subject to a tax/penalty under the ACA. The tax/penalty is (I believe) 40% of the cost of each plan above the stated limits.

  2. The bonuses for administrators amounted to 1.67% of salary and the lowest one paid out was $1,849.00. Not one administrator received a $1,500.00 bonus.

    The highest was $2,900.00 on a higher than governors salary of $173,070. For perspective, experienced electrical engineers make $90,000 to $95,000 per year.

    “the most responsible way to increase compensation.” that assumes we should have automatically increased compensation which we should not have.

    You haven’t heard people complain about teacher bonuses because they make no where near what administrators make and they actually work with the students. All day long. One on One

    [Reply]

  3. If you count that they paid more for health care, pushed back their raises=not much of a bonus. Also throw in the teachers in the high school are teaching an extra class so the district can save money on hiring=not much of a bonus. You think the aides situation was ugly, you have not seen anything yet. Teachers contracts are coming. Also we were not guaranteed our jobs or hours with sts, but let’s call it what it was, a temp company. We were not guaranteed anything. If you can remember the board was caught trying to sell sts and stretching the truth and they were caught with egg on teir face. You act like sts was going to come in and say we will take all of you. That is not so. The importance to these kids we work with are a familiar face and a pattern. I hope Betsy drops to her knees each night and is thankful that her kids do not have dyslexia or aspergers. She probably does not. In fact she and the rest of the board do not know because they are never I mean ever iwalking the hallways of the schools.

    [Reply]

  4. As I recall from the time the teacher contract was negotiated, the “bonus” to the teachers was to move a portion of their salaries to compensation that is not subject to PSERS contributions. Teachers took a pay cut through furlough days (unprecedented in PA) and increased medical premiums for a lesser plan. This “bonus” will unlikely make up for the two above items in addition to no movement on the salary schedule for two years. Teacher bonus is constantly referenced and it is really not the case.

    [Reply]

  5. Commenters should understand the responsibility of each role in the TESD administration before they complain about compensation. This blog gets upset if Conestoga HS falls in any ranking and merely post the information if the rank stays the same or improves. What do the compainers want? Do you want new, lower paid administrators who may have all the “good intentions” to continue the standard, but may fall short? TESD has a model that ensures our kids satisfy every government regulation regarding pre-requisits for graduation. The model is also successful in getting most of our kids considered by top tier universities and colleges. Teachers working on their own cannot ensure success of the entire model. Administrators have the responsibility to keep our model successful. You need the focus of both governance and operations. Administrators are the governance; teachers and paras are the operations.

    [Reply]

    Shining Light Reply:

    Has it not been proven time and time again that higher salaries are in no way related to better job performance? Just like spending more tax money has no effect on academic achievement, tax dollars spent on increasing salaries and bonuses for administrators does not add value to the educational process for the children.

    Our kids get considered by top tier universities and colleges and our model is successful because our kids come from focused, hard working, driven, supportive families who model high achievement and demand excellence. The parents and the kids ensure the success of the entire model. How many times have you heard Dr. Waters say “Our kids are smart kids.” He says it all the time and he is right.

    Because administrators govern does not mean they are entitled to salaries that are more than double the national average. Plenty of people in the private sector who are better educated and have more experience don’t make near what our administrators make. And they don’t grant themselves raises and bonuses rubber stamped by a board that makes the decision in secret and votes on it after slipping it in a consent agenda in the hopes others do not find out.

    This is a labor market that was created by administrators and is supported and controlled by administrators. I’m not saying our administrators aren’t good or that they aren’t smart or dedicated. I’m saying we could get others to do the same job just as well at more reasonable salaries. And I think most know this is true.

    Please do not follow up by writing about how this is a market driven segment bla bla bla. It isn’t true and I don’t believe it.

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Yes, it seems that the administrators of TE, as well as all 500 PA school districts, have conspired together to unfairly inflate their salaries over 50% above their teachers’ average salary. Every one of these districts have disaffected voters, rubber stamp boards, nefarious superintendents and have been able to evade market forces. It matters not that they work longer hours during the day, nor that they work more days during the year, usually come from the teaching ranks, nor that they have more responsibility. I just can’t understand why we can’t find administrators that will work on the same salary scale as the teachers. These administrators are overpaid and dangerous!!! Thanks, Shining Light for another amusing post.

    [Reply]

    T/E aide Reply:

    You do not count the teachers days. You count the hours they put in. I am sure it will come out to the same amount of hours as a person who works 12 months out of the year. Planning period is gone. They plan at home.

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    We have no data on hours worked per year for either the TE teachers of the TE administrators. However, a detailed study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics would indicate that US teachers, on average, work fewer hours per week than other professionals. And this only counts the weeks during the school year. If the summer break is included the hours worked per year is far fewer for teachers. This is not a knock on teachers; they work hard, but the long summer break is just a part of the teaching profession.
    .
    Teachers’ work patterns: when, where,
    and how much do U.S. teachers work?
    http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2008/03/art4exc.htm
    .
    And contrary to the statement above, planning periods are alive and well. From the contract:
    Each full time Bargaining Unit member shall receive an average of two hundred twenty-five minutes per week of preparation time within a range of two hundred to two hundred fifty minutes per week in any particular week and a minimum of one preparation period per day. Each preparation period shall consist of a minimum of 30-minute blocks of time at each level.

    Shining Light Reply:

    I stopped reading after:

    data was available for nearly every day 2003 – 2006 which is the reference point for this analysis.

    Economic times in 2003 to 2006 were much different than they are now. Class sizes were smaller, there were more teachers to share work load and more resources to help teachers accomplish goals.

    Now, teachers are being furloughed, their work load increased significantly, their class sizes have ballooned to alarming numbers (in my opinion) and they are being asked to take salary cuts and pay more into their healthcare benefits.

    Which, by the way, like everyone in the private sector, they’re going to have to do.

    Teachers work long and hard. There is NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. This has nothing to do with how hard they work. This has to do with economic reality.

    If there is data available for a 2010-2013 reference point, that would be worth analyzing. Otherwise, this is just another one of Keith’s tricks.

    TESD resident Reply:

    Administrators do not work one on one with the students, AIDES DO – EVERY DAY. So by your logic we should be making sure we have the best aides, right? Well if they do not get their hours back, the best ones will be leaving for greener pastures, and everyone left will have the additional burden of training the new hires and the time will come out of time that should have gone to the students. How do you think that will affect the school scores and ranking? People move to TESD for the Special Ed department here. And if the administration deserves the recent raises and bonuses, how come they can’t do simple things like keep kleenex and hand sanitizer on hand during flu season?

    [Reply]

    Special Ed Mom Reply:

    TESD resident says:

    “People move to TESD for the Special Ed department here.”

    This is one of the things administrators say to board members to turn them against special education and teach them to resent it.

    I have heard administrators and board members
    repeatedly make the claim that spiraling special education costs are one of the reasons for our financial and budget problems. Special education students – goes the argument – are draining resources away from regular education students.

    The trick to gettting board members to slip “spiraling special ed. costs” into the well worn line of reasons for budget increases, is to mention a high cost for educating certain special ed students (even a high sounding figure) without putting into perspective how much money that is relative to the entire school budget. Special education costs are a small fraction of the school budget. To single out special education as a reason for runaway costs is deceptive and misleading. And isn’t educating children (all children) the purpose and where the money should go? Why are we penalizing special ed when costs are a small fraction of the overall budget? Childrens’ programs are being cut, class sizes have ballooned, and parents are required to pay activity fees. Where is the money going?

    Calling this a burden on the district is irresponsible and just distracts people from the true and large area of waste burdening the school system. Big salaries and cadillac benefit plans that are so outrageously generous, our government requires a 40% luxury tax be levied. If benefit costs are pushed over the limit, I’m sure tax payers will be expected to pay that too. And we blame special education? This makes no sense.

    Outsourcing aides and paras may make it less appealing for families with special needs kids to move to this district. Is that the idea? I’ve often wondered.

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    It’s only logical that parents of special education students would move to a district with an excellent education program like TE or UCF. They seek out the informal and formal special ed networks to choose the best environment for their children. I would, too.
    .
    In our district, over time, special ed costs are taking a larger percentage of the budget (currently 12.5%). But there is the special ed exception to the Act 1 Index so raising revenue to cover the expenditure is possible, but politically difficult. Rather than singling out special ed cost for criticism they are just another category or expenditures to manage along with PSERS, healthcare, salaries, energy, transportation, etc.
    .
    If people are worried about losing continuity when aides are outsourced, it might be instructive to follow the progress with outsourcing at Kennett SD where 50 of 62 aides are returning.
    http://www.kennettpaper.com/article/20130715/NEWS01/130719977/50-support-staff-employees-returning-to-kcsd-this-fall

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thanks for the link Keith. Interesting that the Kennett SD opted not to outsource the custodial staff due to their union’s offers. I recall that TESD is to send out the outsourcing RFP for TENIG this fall so that the Board has the results early January. The last time this was discussed it was only the custodians in TENIG, where this go around it will include all of those union employees — custodians, kitchen, support staff, etc. I hope that TENIG employees are kept in the loop and given an opportunity to negotiate to keep the jobs in-house.

    margaritaville Reply:

    Keith what the article doesnt say his under what terms the outsourced people are returning…

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    The KCSD contract with CCRES is available via a RTK request. We have no idea how much CCRES is paying their employees.

    Special Ed Mom Reply:

    I would call outsourcing an entire segment of employees because you don’t want to provide them with basic healthcare “singling them out.”

    When you throw sp ed into categories and expenditures on par with healthcare, salaries etc, why not decrease salaries of our highest paid employees then, why not demand that teachers and administrators contribute more to their high health care costs?

    Why go to sp ed and single them out by outsourcing only this incredible group of hard working educated and experienced group of people and no other segment. We have actually provided the other segments with raises and bonuses.

    Special education is being singled out. People readily accept the blame sp ed story because it is an unstated prejudice. People quietly resent sp. ed. (especially in this district) and school officials know that and play upon it.

    The bulk of sp. education cost increases come from growth in the specific learning disability (SLD) category, which is the least costly to serve. There are not more children with disabilities than before, more children are being diagnosed and entering into sp. ed. Sp. Ed has been described by giving the impression that all sp. ed. kids have one on one aides and have difficulty with basic tasks and skills. This is not true. Students in sp. ed. take honors courses and some even take AP classes. There are teaching aides that work with these kids to help them stay focused and remember their assignments and help them reach their goals.

    margaritaville Reply:

    so keith, that is interesting too.. I cant remember if te was told how much their outsourced employees were to earn.
    And is there a correlation to what kennett pays the outsourcing company to how mucn the os company is paying the employees? this seems cloak and dagger. and presenting a link to an article that says a large percentage of employees agreed to be outsourced without presenting the details is really meaningless. The data is incomplete.

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    M-ville,
    There is no “cloak and dagger”. If someone asks for the contract it will list the fees paid to CCRES for outsourced services. However, Kennett has no control over how much CCRES pays their employees, has no obligation to find out and has no obligation to divulge it to the public if they do know. These are not KCSD employees. Think about TESD’s transportation contractor for a parallel.

  6. Yes I want 100% new administration. It’s been bogged down with Dan Waters and his circle of (mis)trust. His time has come and is yesterday.

    It is time to clean house. Have an exceptional outsider come in and take over and rebuild this district.
    The good people of our community can vote out and vote in the school board and hope they don’t drink the “Water’s”!
    .

    [Reply]

  7. Jan Marsh, of Taylor English law firm, http://www.taylorenglish.com is their Senior Benefits Consultant and is one of the founding members of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice group. Her review of the IRS Notice 2013-45 is as follows:

    Law Alert: Obamacare Waiver of Tax Reporting and Employer Pay or Play Penalties for 2014

    On July 9, 2013, the IRS Notice 2013-45 confirmed that:
    1. No penalty will be assessed against an employer or insurance company for failing for 2014 to satisfy the Obamacare tax reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code §6055 and §6056.

    2. No penalty will be assessed against an employer for failing for 2014 to provide healthcare coverage to its employees under the “pay” or “play” provisions of Internal Revenue Code §4980H.

    3. An individual for 2014 will continue to be eligible for a premium tax credit to help purchase health insurance on an Obamacare exchange if the individual’s household income is within the range specified in Obamacare and the individual is not eligible for minimum essential healthcare from his or her employer. (We note here that HHS late last week waived for 2014 the requirement that an individual who claims a tax credit actually show that his or her household income is within this range and that he or she is not eligible for minimum essential healthcare coverage from his or her employer.)

    4. The waiver of the penalties for failing to satisfy the tax reporting requirements or the employer “pay” or “play” requirements for 2014 has no bearing on the other provisions of Obamacare which are scheduled to become effective in 2014.

    [Reply]

  8. The delay is only for employers…employees will have to get coverage…which means they will turn to the exchanges and government programs, which is the first step toward the real goal–a single payer system… Right? Board is prudent at keeping the hours out of the reach of this ever evolving federal mandate. The district might have a waiver, but any employee working more than 30 will have to prove or purchase coverage if I understand this week’s update.

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Not quite right, Sidelines.
    .
    Everyone, regardless of hours or income will be required to have healthcare insurance or pay a penalty. For those with no income, there is Medicaid. For those with low incomes, including those working less than 30 hours, there is a subsidy. For old people, like me, there is Medicare. For the rest, there is employer sponsored healthcare or exchanges.

    [Reply]

    margaritaville Reply:

    subsidy…. magic money

    [Reply]

    Sidelines Reply:

    Thanks. My point is — the waiver is just for employers…the employees will be forced to turn to whatever the state offers. Some states are not doing anything (welcome to PA) and some are aggressively pursuing it. “Employer sponsored healthcare” has a year waiver, so “exchanges” (i.e. taxpayers) are on the hook. This is not by accident. Employees will have to find a solution….look to the deepest pocket…that of the government. And let’s pretend we don’t know what makes those pockets so deep — the ability to tax without limits. Act 1 changed that for schools….but they still have bills to pay. The US government will have another debt crisis and we’ll all ask why? Because we wont’ raise taxes and we won’t reduce spending. Here in TE, we aren’t allowed to raise taxes and we get criticized if we try to reduce spending. Old people indeed Keith — Medicare. Remind me who pays for that? The people who VOTE….but that’s the same people who get Medicare…

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  9. that is exactly correct. The true intention of leftiist regimes like the one we voted in twice is to DRIVE people to these exchanges. ANd you can bet there will be fraud in signing people up with no checks nor balances in income verification, etc. The taxpayer will have an multi multi billion dollar tax bill on its hands.

    Great article today in NYPost, yes N
    Ypost just about this.
    And where are the demands for an evaluation of this picking and choosing of a piece of legislation passed by Congress, yes on Chrismas eve with only one party voting affirmatively? Talk about absence of rule of law..

    The term exchange is a misnomer. A true free market exchange would be good.. Or more realistically a better open market in each state whereby an individual or employer can survey the market and buy insurance policies that are tailored to the needs of that consumer. The electorate has been fooled again. Where are the checks and balances… Open your eyes America. There will be another major default crisis coming.. and I wasn’t referring to the quality and timeliness of care.

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  10. special ed mom, I am curious as to why there are more kids being diagnosed with a need for special ed. Where does that come from? AP kids that need focus? My parents kept me focused, my grandparents.. and I was able to keep myself focused. Is this state guidance for special ed? Money perks? I don’t know.. just asking. when will the special ed designation end? Will most kids be in “special ed”? at some point during their tenure at Stoga?
    I am not, by any means saying there isn’t a need for special education teachers, classes and aides. So dont think that. But when you say kids in honors and AP classes need individual support, well set me straight. Whats going on?

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  11. The overwhelming majority of disabilities are not cognitive, nor do they exhibit in bizarre or disruptive behaviors.

    Examples of Disabilities that fall under Section 504 instead of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)

    mobility impairment, use of a wheel chair
    neurological disorder
    epilepsy, hemophilia, diabetis, aids, arthritis, TB, ADHD, cancer, spinal bifida, C.P.
    anxiety, depression

    [Reply]

    Sidelines Reply:

    ADHD, anxiety and depression …. hard to argue with them and impossible to cure them. Hard part is — they used to be lumped into the term “adolescence” … but now the schools have to make arrangements for them to be helped.

    It’s all good…but people DO move to schools with greater financial resources — why wouldn’t they? Everyone wants the best for their child. And there are kids who have programs costing districts into the thousands per month — special schools that parents (and attorneys) argue are able to deliver better programs. “You get what we pay for.” And as medical science gets better at bringing premature children into the world safely, we are faced with ever more children who have neurological deficits from birth that the public school system “Free and Appropriate Public Education” must address, “leaving no child behind.”

    Problem with all of this — who decides what is appropriate? And how much litigation is appropriate to defend against the spiraling costs of providing an education to a child with special needs?

    [Reply]

    margaritaville Reply:

    seems like more kids are being diagnosed with autism. Better diagnostics? Or wider parameters?

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  12. The spiraling cost of providing a child a regular education has increased dramatically over the years.

    It is a myth that special education costs are burdening the school system.

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    Sidelines Reply:

    Not a myth. What causes the costs for special Ed to increase is the increase in the identified, eligible population…and the associated expectations of what is “appropriate”. Just this whole aides/paras is an illustration of a cost associated with extra care, but now mandated for the future to include benefits or alter the provided service. And if having two aides is seen as “inappropriate” then perhaps the alternative will be an out of school placement.

    So it’s not a “per child” reference, but rather the increasing percentage of the total devoted to services at just a decade ago were not in the base.

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    Special Ed Mom Reply:

    Yes, a myth. When times get tough, school systems and their supporters blame special education.

    If out of school placement really is a burden as you assert, the cost of private placement should be a significant portion of the TESD budget. It isn’t.

    What about the increasing percentage of the total devoted to services for children in regular education. The same argument can be made.

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  13. Let’s put some numbers on special education expenditures at UCF.

    2002-03 Total Budget $45M, Special ed $1.2M
    2012-13 Total Budget $73M, Special ed $8.5M

    The Total Budget grew at a rate of 5% per year
    Special ed grew at a rate of 22% per year

    I’ll leave it to others to describe the effect of special ed on the budget.

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  14. Your numbers are deceptive and misleading.

    In TE 80% of students with disabilities receive some or all of their educational services in regular classroom settings.

    We need a funding formula to help with the distribution of basic education. Right now the two formulas go hand in hand. We need to review the actual cost differentiation for the level of services so statements like yours do not confuse the issue and blame special education.

    I don’t know about UCF, but I would think your numbers are similar to ours – 80% of students with disabilities attending regular classroom settings.

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Special Ed Mom,
    .
    I take offense at your statement that my “numbers are deceptive and misleading.”
    .
    These are numbers reported by ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS to the PA Dept of Ed using standardized accounting rules. If you’d like to see the numbers for 2011-12 here they are for all 500 school districts in PA.
    http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/http://www.portal.state.pa.us;80/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_123706_1335911_0_0_18/Finances%20AFR%20Expenditures%202011-2012.xlsx
    Look in the column labeled “Special Education 1200”
    .
    If you are an accounting professional and want to propose a new way of measuring special ed or propose a different definition of special ed, go for it. In the mean time, please look in the mirror before you accuse others of false and misleading statements.
    .

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  15. what is deceiving about those numbers? Your explanation is not clear.. seems like the budget breakout is clear, even if 80 percent of special needs kids get to learn in classroom setting. How did you arrive at 80 percent ? To keith what are some of those special ed items that increased the cost disproportionately?

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    Special Ed Mom Reply:

    My explanation is very clear. I got my 80% from Corbett’s commission on special education.

    I looked up Unionville Chadsford. The districts ultimate goal for each student enrolled in any special education program is to provide an appropriate educational experience in THE LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT with all the services and supports necessary to ensure the success of the student.

    What this means is as stated further in Mr. Knauss’ special ed goal statement, regular class room placement with supplementary aides and services provided AS NEEDED in that environment. His district wants special ed kids in regular class room settings because it’s NOT expensive.

    I don’t know about UCF but there’s not a lot of aides in regular classroom settings in the middle schools, high school or upper elementary school grades in TE.

    I noticed that Mr. Knauss is a board member at UCF. The fact that he doesn’t seem to know about any of this is frightening. I fear Board members in TE don’t know it either.

    They all believe the myth about “the burden of special education.

    [Reply]

    margaritaville Reply:

    even in lower elementary grades these kids are mainstreamed. And you know what? Their parents are a driving force in doing so. Advocates, lawyers, its all in the mix and some of these kids unfortunately don’t function well and don’t benefit from this environment. Some belong in special SCHOOLS.. Perhaps this mainstreaming works for the school board too as they would be on the hook for tuition. Have seen that sharp hook.. But as keith points out, it seems SPec ed is outstripping costs relative to non special ed. even mainstreaming. Not sure what the argument is here.

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  16. Here is data for TESD
    .
    2001-02 Total Expenditures $69M, Special ed $5M
    2011-12 Total Expenditures $102M, Special ed $15M
    .
    The Total Budget grew at a rate of 4% per year
    Special ed grew at a rate of 12% per year
    .
    I’ll leave it to others to describe the effect of special ed on the budget.

    [Reply]

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