Alexander Says Obamacare Is Creating More Substitute Teachers For Schools

Thursday, January 2, 2014

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, a former U.S. Secretary of  Education, Thursday said that as school starts back up in 2014, Obamacare is forcing cuts in hours for employees, such as substitute teachers, in at least 11 Tennessee school districts “and likely many more,” harming students’ education in the process.  

“Individuals, families and businesses aren’t the only ones facing financial challenges because of Obamacare – Tennessee schools are also being hit hard by higher health insurance costs that are forcing districts to cut jobs or hours,” Senator Alexander, the senior Republican on the Senate education committee, said. “Obamacare has forced schools to save costs with more part-time employees, from substitute teachers to coaches to custodial and administrative staff.”

A major driver of school districts’ problems, Senator Alexander said, is an Obamacare mandate requiring employers to provide more expensive health insurance to anyone working 30 hours or more per week. As a result, many districts are being forced to employ more part-time workers, and to keep their hours low, to save on costs.

Senator Alexander said, “Schools should be free to make decisions based on what will help students learn what they need to know, not on how to cope with Obamacare’s burdensome and expensive mandates.”  

School districts reporting fiscal challenges because of Obamacare include: Carter County, Clarksville, Franklin Special School District, Johnson City, Maury County, Oneida Special School District, Rutherford County, Scott County, Stewart County, Washington County and Wilson County.

Maury County Schools, south of Nashville, for example, is limiting its substitute teachers to no more than 28 hours per week. One school board member told the local news: “Students struggle enough having one substitute teacher, but then now we’re going to have to possibly split the substitute time between two substitute teachers. It just makes it hard on the students to learn.”

Chattanooga State Offers WITS Personal Training Certificate

Chattanooga State’s Economic and Community Education Department is offering a personal trainer certification class at the main campus on Saturdays beginning June 11 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The class runs through Aug. 13.   Employers like 24-Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, and Gold’s Gym are just a few of the club groups that seek out graduates of this course, said officials.   ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Hosts Welding Boot Camp

Cleveland State Community College hosted a Welding Boot Camp with Walker Valley and Bradley Central High Schools. The boot camp was held in CSCC's new welding lab that was established in response to industry demand for qualified, educated and skilled welders. Upon completion of the camp, students will have the opportunity to test for their AWS (American Welding Society) Certification. (click for more)

Stone Domestic Assault Case Postponed Until Aug. 9

The case in which Bobby Stone is charged with domestic assault against his wife, advisor to Mayor Andy Berke Lacie Stone, has been postponed until Aug. 9. Officials said there will be no further action until the TBI completes its investigation.  The case had been set Tuesday morning before general sessions court Lila Statom. The TBI is believed to be looking into ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Honors Military Veterans

A Memorial Day service was held at the National Cemetery on Monday. (click for more)

Calling Out Bad Behavior In St. Elmo - And Response

I have lived in the St. Elmo community of Chattanooga for practicially all 52 years of my life. My grandmother moved to St. Elmo in 1919. My Dad was literally born in a home in St. Elmo and lived his entire 72 years in this community and my Mom has lived here 60 years of her life. I am very disappointed in what my neighborhood has become. I like people. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Amputee Team Wins Relay

As a news junkie there isn’t a lot that gets past me in my morning reading, yet I had no idea there was a relay race in Chattanooga two weekends ago. Maybe that’s why 1,500 people ran away and never came back – the finish line was in Nashville. How the Ragnar Relays work is pretty simple. The organizers pick two cities that are about 200 miles apart and then 12-to-14 runners ... (click for more)