Jefferson City Public Schools must pay more to insure substitute teachers

Under the Affordable Care Act, the district must find $150,000 to insure teachers

Jefferson City Public Schools to pay more with Obamacare

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Jefferson City Public Schools announced during Monday night's board meeting it would have to find additional money to insure some of its teachers.

In a story ABC 17 News first reported on Tuesday, the district will have to come up with approximately $150,000 to insure substitute teachers under the Affordable Care Act. District officials say they knew this would happen, but did not know how much it would cost.

The district will have to pay approximately $6,000 per substitute unless JCPS caps their hours below 28 hours per week, which is something district officials say they will not do. Under the Affordable Care Act, the district must provide benefits to anyone who works more than 28 hours a week.

"It would be strange to say, 'you can work Monday through Thursday, but we're going to bring in another sub every Friday,'" said Jason Hoffman with JCPS. "It's just not the best way educationally."

If the district does not comply with the law, it could face millions of dollars in fines from the federal government. Officials say they will not do that. Rather, they will pay the $150,000 or hire a contractor.

"Just putting it into perspective, it's about three teachers," said Hoffman. "A beginning teacher makes about $35,000 and with benefits, we pay about $50,000."

As for which option is best, that's something the board will decide in January.

"Our analysis has come up with, is that it's about a wash to continue doing it on our own or pay that extra benefit or to contract it out to Kelly Services, and then it comes down to quality," said Hoffman.

Several Missouri cities, including Springfield, Columbia and Hallsville, all use the contractor Kelly Services, which comes recommended.

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