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Health-care woes plague 2013-14 school budget
willoughby w sm
The DeKalb County Board of Education has adopted a proposed tentative spending plan for the 2013-14 school year.To meet the state deadline, which calls for the budget to be presented to the county commission by May 15, the board met in a workshop last Tuesday, and postponed the regular meeting of the board until Thursday.Among items cut from the original budget proposal were $50,000 to fund a full-time athletic director, and a plan to provide single health insurance coverage for all eligible full-time employees, certified and support staff.According to new health care laws, employers are required to pay a penalty if they do not offer eligible employees an affordable health-care plan.While school officials are fairly certain they already meet the requirements for certified personnel, support staff plans would have to be upgraded to avoid the penalty.The school system currently pays 64 percent of the cost for certified employees with a single or a family plan, while the employee picks up the remaining 36 percent.The system pays 51 percent of support staff coverage.Officials believe they will be required to pay 60 percent of both groups premiums to avoid being penalized under the new act.The penalty for not complying is apparently $3,000 per employee, per year, after the first 30 employees.“To this day, we don't know all the guidelines,” Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said.“I don't know how the affordable health care act is going to work out. It may be October before we know. It may be later than that.