Pattye Benson

Community Matters


Obamacare Delay — Hours Restored for TE School District Employees for 2013-14 School Year!

Exciting news today for the TE School District aides, paraeducators and paraprofessionals — their hours have been fully restored for the 2013-14 school year! This is wonderful news for the affected employees who faced major cuts to their hours — in some cases, as much as twenty-five percent. The restoration of hours of the aides and paras to their previous level is win-win news for the students, their parents and the community!

According to an announcement on the District website this morning (see below), the District solicitor has confirmed that delay of the Affordable Care Act implementation for another year. Based on this notice, it is interesting that the policy-making decision to restore the employee hours comes from the office of the District solicitor, Ken Roos to the administration. As a result, the District has suspended the June 17 school board decision to reduce the hours of aides and paras to 27.5 hours or below. This may only be a one-year reprive for the affected employees, and they could find them in the same position a year from now, however … so much can happen in a year. For examples, the Federal government could change implementation requirements for ACA, specifically as it relates to part-time workers.

With outsourcing of aides and paras off the table for a year and the restoration of their hours, the 2013-14 school year presents an opportunity for the District to fully understand the ACA insurance requirements for their employees. Rather than reducing the hours of employees to avoid Federal compliance laws, perhaps alternatives can be explored to provide affordable health care to all District employees. In an earlier post, I mentioned the idea of a citizens group to review Obamacare and the compliance requirements during the 2013-14 school year. As we have learned, the topic is confusing and needs further study — use the ACA transition period and learn more on the topic. As more information becomes available from Washington,the Board will be better positioned to work towards compliance for the following year.

School Board Suspends June 17, 2013 Resolution to Limit Hours of Current Aides, Para-Educators and Paraprofessionals to 27.5 or Less

The hours for District aides and paraeducators will not be limited to 27.5 hours per week for the 2013-2014 school year as was previously announced. The District Solicitor has confirmed that the Treasury Department has delayed the implementation of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act relevant to the Board’s June 17 resolution directing the administration to schedule all District part-time employees, such as aides and paraeducators, for no more than 27.5 hours per week for the 2013-2014 school year to ensure that they meet the definition of part-time employees pursuant to the Affordable Care Act for the 2014-2015 school year. Pursuant to the Board’s subsequent July 8 resolution, the administration is now authorized to suspend the implementation of the Board’s June 17 resolution.
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