MCSD learns more about Affordable Care Act's impact - WRBL

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MCSD learns more about Affordable Care Act's impact

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Chief Human Resources Officer Kathy Tessin presents options for healthcare Chief Human Resources Officer Kathy Tessin presents options for healthcare

The Muscogee County School Board is learning more about the Affordable Care Act's impact on the district, and substitute teachers could be hit the hardest.

By Fiscal Year 2015, some Muscogee County School District employees' insurance costs could be up to 90% of their salary. Board member Cathy Williams says they're used to paying a few more dollars for each year's healthcare contribution, but she says it's time for a change.

"They've been going up year over year," says Williams, "and they're consuming so much of our budget. It's going to become more and more challenging."

As the district learns more about the new requirements under the Affordable Care Act, board members are seeing that policies revolving around substitute teachers may need to be revised.

Williams says, "It's just a huge challenge, and it's facing districts across the country. We're not unique, and we have a great team put together to look at how to make recommendations to the superintendent and to the board."

The district is pulling together a task force to explore their options, which include restricting the amount of hours substitutes can work weekly, hiring full-time subs, or creating an insurance option for the part-time teachers.

"We'll get a lot of minds together," says Chief Human Resources Officer Kathy Tessin. "We'll get school administrators, budgetary individuals, financial people, and we'll just sort and weigh what's right for us. And of course we'll keep informing ourselves about what other districts are doing. We all learn from each other across the state."

The task force will present its findings to the school board in February.

The district may also decide to use a contracting firm to hire substitute teachers so that the responsibility of providing insurance falls to someone else.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.

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