Friday, January 9, 2015

CMS to more closely track hours of part-time workers

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is now going to make sure its part-time employees are tracking their hours -- a change CMS says is a side effect of the Affordable Care Act.

President Barack Obama's signature health insurance law has been leading to changes to plans across the public and private sector, and school districts are no exception. They, too, would be subject to penalties for not offering health insurance to employees working 30 or more hours per week.

Part-time workers in public schools generally work between 20 and 30 hours each week. Deputy Superintendent Ann Clark wrote in a report to the school board Friday that part-time workers are now required to use the the district's computer system to document their "actual hours worked" to ensure they don't exceed the 30-hour threshold.

The district is now setting the bar for part-time employees at 28 hours per week, effective Jan. 1. Part-time jobs can range from speech pathologist to media center assistants.

The Affordable Care Act also means that a new class of workers will be eligible for coverage. The state defines them as "non-permanent employees who work at least 30 hours per week." This appears to include interim or temporary positions, like a fill-in teacher or principal. These jobs weren't eligible for health insurance before.

Now they'll get access to a "bronze" level high-deductible plan.

CMS says 220 employees were identified who qualify, including 32 retirees. This could cause some issues for people who retired from the district but came back to work in a temporary role. Clark's memo said the district has "informed these employees of the potential negative impact on their retirement benefits, including their health insurance coverage."

It's unclear whether all this will cost CMS any more money. I was unable to get a hold of somebody in the human resources department to ask.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...


When the details of the ACA began to appear in print three years ago, I discussed with someone in the financial department how this would force the district to hire more like a fast food chain than the full-employment business it then was. The response was a frown.

The person felt a lot of responsibility to offer full-time jobs or at least jobs that had more than 30 hours a week. The person also felt occasionally there were benefits to the district in having a temporary working exceed 29.9 hrs/week. An example would be completing tasks for the start of school.

Nonetheless, CMS is now going from letting part-timers work as much as they can to working as little as CMS will allow. That is excellent. The biggest advantage is it prevents weak managers from not carefully watching part-time employee hours. In an 18,000 employee company; that could be a lot of money.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

That is great and good. When is the wimpy and/or dishonest school board going to hire a reputable and disinterested legal firm to look into the investigation of Heath Morrison?

Anonymous said...


The largest number of part-time employees for the school system are substitute teacher, which is different than a temporary or interim teacher. The new edict is that substitute teachers may no longer work or cover more than 3 days worth of classes a week, esentially 22.5 hours. Whil you may think this is great in terms of cost savings, this prevents many folks who used to substitute full-time (38 hours, no benefits) from being able to work 5 days a week. This also means that unless CMS and other school systems hire FULL-TIME permanent substitues,who must be eligible for benefits, there is now not only going to be a teacher shortage, but also a substitute shortage. Believe me, there are schools in CMS who cannot afford to lose the few subs that are willing to walk into their building.

Believe it or not, this will have a huge direct impact on the classroom.
Guess what happens when the school can't get a sub for a classroom...those 25 students then get divided up and sent to another teacher for the day. How's that sound as a positive learning experience?

Anonymous said...

I was unable to get a hold of somebody in the human resources department to ask.

A more inept and overpaid department cannot be found in CMS. Dunn how is this possible ? How do you not find anyone to talk with you with a department of this size?

Wiley Coyote said...

As a taxpayer, I'm screwed either way.

If they don't work 30 hours, they go on the dole and collect Obamacare subsidies.

On the other hand, if CMS lets part time employees skirt the 30 hour rule, I pay more in hourly salary we may need not have to pay, just so they can get benefits.

Unknown said...

If, as mentioned by poster at 4:53am, subs will be limited in the # of hours they can work, this effectively eliminates long-term subs for maternity leave, disability leave, and family medical leave. For the first time in my career I actually HAD to use sick leave (other than an occasional day here/there-1 a year max) to care for a family member. Had I not been able to get a long-term sub (4 weeks at the opening of school) I may have had to resort to a combination of substitute and paying a home health care person to care for my mom. This effectively can penalize those of us who are full-time with benefits....

Anonymous said...

January 23rd is National Handwriting Day. Why not celebrate all month long with daily or weekly practice? Wouldn’t it be great if your child could write his or her name in cursive by then?

It's a shame that we are making school work, and our expectations of our children, so easy and accommodating nowadays.

Anonymous said...

No education C.C. or whatever is ever FREE.

Some taxpayer somewhere will be paying the bill. Bank on it !

Shamash said...

Hey, I just saw where our first Gulenist Charter school for MeckCo was approved.

Woo-hoo, we're world class now.

I hope someone digs a little deeper into where the money goes on this one and who (and WHAT) it is supporting.

Also, if any contractors are doing work for this school, it would be interesting to see who they are.

Should be a great exercise in getting past "plausible deniability" for anyone doing any investigation.

The Diane Ravitch blog has some info on these Gulenist guys and how they operate elsewhere in the US and the rest of the world.

We in the US are such suckers for this kind of foolishness.

The whole world apparently knows how to "use" us and our system.

We are only too happy to fund our own downfall, as long as there is an immediate "profit" for someone else at the same trough.

We've seen this happen in program after program, from defense to immigration, to education.

Will the so-called "conservatives" say anything about this sort of international "connection" and use of tax dollars or are they too enamored with "privatization" to poke that hornets nest?

Wiley Coyote said...


My son, in the US Armed Forces, was told never trust the Turks when out and about and to watch his/their backs.

Anonymous said...

CMS is just an education factory, move em in, move em out. Why do so many CMS students have to attend tutoring every week because they are not getting what they need in the classroom? Very strange indeed, but profitable for all the tutors (and teachers making 2-3x the money by tutoring).

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:36am

Good idea. How about you don't graduate from high school if you can't write your name in cursive!

Chamberlain said...

Part time might be the way our schools are going. There will definitely be a decrease in teachers as CMS continues to push technology into the learning spaces. Teachers are the most expensive part of any school system. Therefore it is logical that attempts to cost cut will involve reducing teacher time.
The most obvious is to increase the ratio of students to teachers, which is already happening in CMS. With the popular "21st Century Learning" hype, technology is used to facilitate this process: online schools and classes replace face-to-face learning; blended online/classroom models allow a larger student load per teachers; online tutoring replaces teacher time with lower paid or PT employees. Another tack is to replace teacher work with other adults: involvement of parents through blended home school models and “flipped classroom” learning; replacement of teachers with volunteers in classrooms. It's all coming to a school near you.

Anonymous said...

There is something I can't seem to grasp. I ask Dunn or the readers to compare the graduation rate at West Charlotte versus how may students are proficient at the school.

In other words, how do we justify graduating children who are not on grade level? Only around 18% of the students as WC are proficient in math and english (at grade level), yet the graduation rate is above 70%? Why? Are our expectations for black kids that much lower than for white kids?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:25, I will attempt to answer your question. As an employee of CMS what you are seeing is a Board of Education that has lost complete touch with the society it serves. Your comment on W. Charlotte is merely the tip of a very big iceberg. CMS does the following to undercut academic achievement at all schools:
1. Every student is allowed to retest until they achieve an 84 percent.

2. Student may now turn in late work up until the end of the year and receive credit for it.
3. Teachers are kowtowed into passing students who do very little work and who cannot pass a test.
4. Test scores are falling across the district, but our district continues with its disastrous policies.
5. Our graduation rate has increased and when teachers in CMS hear this you should watch eyes roll. Everyone knows bad stats when they see them.
6. Our students are far less prepared to graduate and enter society than they were five years ago.

What a shame that adults are the one's setting low expectations for students, one would think that it is the adults that should be providing the leadership necessary for our students to succeed.

Unknown said...

TO: Anon 4:25pm CC:5:53pm

The proficiency question you raised has not gone unnoticed at the Board of Education. While the Board’s legislative agenda for the upcoming General Assembly long session includes a wish to up the grading formula from 80/20 (grades/growth) to 50/50, there are members who will express publically that growth is only so good. Those members have said if a student isn’t proficient, it would be hard to imagine the person able to find and keep a job.

This conundrum is why I support Project LIFT and privately funded reading programs in Mecklenburg.

Last year LIFT shifted its main emphasis to reading. They did that based on their first year research. It was the right move. While it will be impossible for LIFT to show significant gains in grades above 6th before the end of the five year program, there will be a surge of successes when original K through 3rd graders reach high school. They will be great readers. Too bad LIFT is not likely to continue.

On the private side there is much that is contributing to student proficiency. Two programs I support are Y-Readers and a church in Cherry that works with boys and young men on the 3 Rs: respect, responsibility and reading.

I agree that there is a proficiency-at-graduation problem. This year CMS received over 2,400 students who the year before were living outside the U.S. Another 4,000 first-time students came from Charlotte neighborhoods not equipment to prepare children to enter preK, K or 1st grade.

CMS’s goal is to have these students reading proficient by the start of 4th grade. That’s too late. Starting to read by age 4 is critical. That’s outside CMS’ influence. Supporting reading programs in your neighborhood or those where you are aware there is a need, are the best ways to raise graduation rates that are meaningful.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

If to many on the Westside improve and graduate then you will loose Federal and Private money for that sector along with spending 3x the local tax money.

Cant have that now can we?

Anonymous said...

Anon January 12, 2015 at 4:25 PM

"Are our expectations for black kids that much lower than for white kids?"

Yes. It's been that way for decades.

Only now the low-achievers are trendsetters for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Do the numbers move because of :

White Flight

Lowering credits to graduate

Taking tests until you get an 84

Principals graduating seniors with over 10 absences and below 70 GPA

If you choose all the above then you win the prize

Martha B. said...

Did you know that the amount of "screen time" that poor and minority kids get each day is at all time highs. A study from Northwestern Univ cites that these children watch up to 50% more TV than their white peers, and use computers for almost 2 hours more per day (playing video games). More access and use of "technology" and "screen devices" does not help the achievement gap. Actually I believe the opposite is true, the more screens one uses, the more apathetic the student becomes. Just look at the CMS results over the past 5 years (as this holds true for minority and white students), increased technology use for learning equals decrease in scores and academic achievement.

Wiley Coyote said...


This conundrum is why I support Project LIFT and privately funded reading programs in Mecklenburg.

Reading programs? Why? Because parents of kids who can't read cannot read themselves or give a rip as to whether their kids learn how to read or not?

When are we going to cut the crap and and tell it like it is, that more money, whether tax dollars, private or otherwise, makes little difference in whether Johnny can read?

Parental understanding that education is the key to a better future, whether they as parents have an education or not, is vital.

We've already seen parental support in LIFT has been mediocre at best.

We've also seen pre-K programs do NOTHING to improve kids abilities beyond those who do not attend pre-K, yet we waste BILLIONS each year funding them.

Eliminate pre-K and spend the money on more teachers and smaller class sizes and also targeted learning programs for those who need extra help.

And if there is any money left, go back and educate their parents and educrats who just don't get it.

Tacos said...

Can the schools or public libraries offer family reading programs in the evenings? Offer free pizza and you'll have a crowded house.

Shamash said...


"When are we going to cut the crap and tell it like it is..."

Thanks. You just saved me some typing.

From the looks of things, though, I'd say never.

Folks just never seem to tire of the "same ol' same ol'" even when it has proven to not work.

There's always an excuse.

Usually involving more time or money or, typically, both.

Meanwhile, parents get off the hook as more and more expect the "community" to raise their children.

As for Taco's "free pizza" suggestion, whatever happened with all those "free" Zumba classes?

Surely, that should have done the trick.

Or maybe free pizza followed by free Zumba is the winning combination to get the "community" involved in properly raising their children.

Or maybe they really do not care and will just take whatever free stuff others decide to give them anyway.

After all, why change a successful strategy for getting even more free stuff?

Someone will always offer them more.

Anonymous said...

Tacos-your comment makes no sense. The Mecklenburg public libraries are no joke and some of the best community libraries I have seen. They do offer family reading programs at night and true if they offered free pizza more would come, but the people in any of the libraries children's section taking out books, exploring their reading programs are the same people who's children most likely are not in the LIFT program and to be honest with you children who more than likely do not attend CMS. We go to many of the Mecklenburg Public libraries at least once a week and enjoy all they have to offer. I will not stick up for CMS, but I will defend the libraries, they really are a gold nugget in our community.

Shamash said...

Anon 10:15pm

" but I will defend the libraries, they really are a gold nugget in our community. "

Hey, ya think Taco might have been using just a bit of sarcasm with the free pizza comment?

I certainly didn't read it as a criticism of the library system.

More likely the parents.

Anonymous said...


What a tangled web we weave ...

You know any attorney is lying when their lips are moving and get a new chair.

Rehire Morrison the only way out. Crawl on your knees and sing Aint To Proud To Beg even if you cant carry a tune. Bro Mo officially out.

Way past time to end the "gap" and taxes lowered.

Be a model for the rest of the 3rd world so everybody can be 1st world in America.
Never keep anybody down again.

Back to the future before pc and the 60s.


Anonymous said...

What about taxpayer reparations?

Anonymous said...

10:15 You missed the point. There was no dissing the library system.

from Burrito