If a teacher is gone for a week, schools would prefer to have one substitute fill in during the five-day absence; but as new health care laws take effect, that might not always be possible.
Students have an easier time focusing in class and following lessons if they aren’t continually adjusting to a new substitute. But that also could mean using a substitute for more than 30 hours per week, and school districts don’t know that they can afford to start paying for substitutes’ health benefits.
Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with 50 or more employees have to offer health insurance to anyone who works 30 or more hours per week. This requirement originally was set to begin Jan. 1 but earlier this year was delayed until 2015.