The Stephens County School System is looking at options in light of the possible effects of the Affordable Care Act on substitute teachers.
Stephens County School Superintendent Sherrie Whiten updated the Board of Education on the matter at their meeting last week.
Whiten said that under the Affordable Care Act, a sub that works more than 30 hours a week under the current arrangement would be considered eligible for health insurance through the school system.
“The thing is with the Affordable Care Act, if they hit that by mistake or by oversight, but hit 30 hours, they are really considered our employee and we have to offer health benefits,” said Whiten.
Whiten said if the school system did not offer the insurance to a sub working more than 30 hours a week, it would have to pay a penalty.
As a result, Whiten said the school system has heard about a number of different options.
“The only real alternatives are going to be outsourcing, hiring someone to manage it for you internally, or hiring permanent subs,” said Whiten.
Whiten said some school systems go through an agency that handles substitute teachers.
She said some area school systems doing this have been pleased while using the same subs they would be if they did not use the agency.
“They use the folks that they already use on the sub list and you have a lot of control over it, but it is not your employee, it is the (agency’s) employee,” said Whiten.
Some board members say it sounds like a good idea.
However, School Board Member Tony Crunkleton said he has concerns about bringing in substitutes who are first and foremost employees of an agency.
“If you have somebody who is not employed by the school system, what authority does the principal have over them?” asked Crunkleton.
Whiten said she would gather more information on the options and bring that back to the board for further discussion.