Affordable Care Act Could Cause Substitute Teacher Shortage


MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT)– It’s a problem that most school systems face, finding enough qualified substitute teachers.

“That’s difficult in itself to find the subs that we need,” says Marshall County School Superintendent Tim Nabors.   “Of course we would love to have certified subs.  But sometimes that’s difficult to obtain.”

Nabors says it could get worse next school year as the system becomes subject to the rules of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare as the President calls it.

The law says anyone working more than 30 hours a week for the same employer must be offered health care benefits.   That would apply to substitute teachers.

“When they can only work so many hours a week, it puts an even bigger burden on us,” Nabors says.  “If those subs, if we have to have them, they work over that, we either have to offer them insurance or have to pay a fine, which of course hurts us.”

Nabors says it could be even worse if a teacher has to be away for weeks at a time.

“If you have maternity leaves or if you’ve got someone that’s sick and has to be out an extended period of time you don’t want to bring two different teachers in.”

Nabors says right now they don’t know how they will get around the problem.   He says there is already a lack of bus driver substitutes.   He says there are only six qualified subs to cover 70 bus routes.

Nabors says they don’t know what they will do but says there is no way the cash strapped system can provide benefits to substitutes.





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