Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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May 18, 2013

Districts call special board meetings

Taylor, NW will discuss Affordable Care Act impacts.

Northwestern School Corp. will likely reduce the hours of about a dozen instructional assistants to avoid having to provide them with insurance.

Superintendent Ryan Snoddy said the issue will be discussed and voted on during a special school board meeting Monday evening.

The school board has already discussed the issue at length, he said. It stems from a new requirement in the Affordable Care Act that takes effect this school year. He said the district would have to provide insurance to those positions — something Northwestern has never done — because they work more than 30 hours a week.

During the April meeting, Snoddy suggested those assistants, about 20 total, work only five hours a day instead of eight.

He said those people would be given the opportunity to pick up some extra hours during the summer, so their total pay would not be affected.

Snoddy said Friday, though, that he will recommend seven of those instructional assistants remain full time and receive insurance. The superintendent said Northwestern needs that many full-time assistants to meet student needs.

According to April meeting minutes, Snoddy will present more information on the Affordable Care Act later so the district can come up with a long-term plan to remain in compliance with the federal law.

Northwestern isn’t the only district dealing with this issue.

Taylor Community Schools also called a special board meeting for Monday night to discuss the Affordable Care Act and personnel impact.

Officials at Taylor could not be reached for comment Friday.

If you go

WHAT: Special school board meetings at Northwestern and Taylor school corporations to discuss impacts of Affordable Care Act on personnel.

WHEN: Northwestern’s meeting is 6:15 p.m. Monday; and Taylor’s is 7 p.m. Monday

WHERE: Northwestern will hold its meeting in the high school library. Taylor’s is in the high school media center.

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