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November 14 2014

ObamaCare Oops: Teachers Are The Latest Obamacare Casualty

Vicki E. Alger

Remember all those teaching jobs the Obama Administration claimed to save back in 2009 when the Recovery Act was passed? Looks like Obamacare is wiping them out.

The Roanoke City Public Schools Board recently voted to outsource substitute teachers to a New Jersey-based company. As Annie McCallum of the Roanoke Times reports:

The move to privatize subs will cost about $1.6 million, and it is unclear whether it will save money. Officials have said it will help tame costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, as well as the law’s tracking and reporting requirements .

The Roanoke School Board voted unanimously during a meeting Tuesday to authorize the superintendent to enter into a contract with the firm, which has a state contract, and currently provides substitutes for two divisions in the Hampton Roads area.

The board first talked about outsourcing last month. Officials have said they were exploring the idea because the system faces escalating costs linked to the health care law’s mandate that beginning Jan. 1 employees working an average of 30 hours or more a week be offered health insurance.

“It is certainly a budget impact in terms of offering eligible substitutes health benefits,” said Sandra Burks, the system’s executive director for human resources.

Burks estimated that adding benefits for 15 substitutes would cost about $165,000.

Roanoke subs currently do not receive benefits. They will be eligible for some health care benefits after 90 days working for Source4Teachers.

Privatization and outsourcing of noninstructional activities such as food, janitorial, and transportation services is increasingly common. Freeing schools from onerous collective bargaining agreements and freeing teachers from forced union membership also makes sense.

But it is an ironic twist that the teachers union leaders who worked so hard to elect Obama are now suffering the consequences of his ill-advised policies along with the rest of us. In fact, the state’s teachers union, NEA Affiliate the Virginia Education Association, opposes the move to contract with a private company for part-time teachers.

Guess the NEA’s wishing it could retract it press release from November 2012 that proclaimed “Obama reelection is a victory for public education and students” and touted:

"President Obama’s re-election is a victory for students and their educators," said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. …Over the past four years, the Obama Administration fought to keep class sizes small, and protected more than 400,000 educator jobs. 



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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