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Pitt Co. cuts substitute teacher hours due to Obamacare

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Pitt County Schools says it has been forced to cut the hours of substitute teachers because of the cost of the Affordable Care Act to the school system.

Jordan Banjo, a substitute teacher in Pitt County, said she worked more than 30 hours a week until last month, when the school district notified her that her hours would be restricted to three days a week.

"I'm willing and able to work and now they're telling me I can only work for so long," Banjo told NBC affiliate WITN.

Pitt County Schools notified substitute teachers in February that they would only be allowed to work 12 days a month, or 90 hours a month.

Spokesman Brock Letchworth said the school system had to cut the hours of substitute teachers because it could not afford to provide health care coverage to those teachers deemed full-time by the Affordable Care Act.

"The cost for us to be able to provide health care to everyone would be just over $1 million ... and that is the lowest cost to this school system," Letchworth told WITN.

Letchworth said Pitt County has 400 substitute teachers in its district, and about 200 were averaging more than 30 hours per week. The Affordable Care Act considers any employee who works more than 30 hours per week in any month as full time.

According to the Affordable Care Act, once an employee is full time, they must be covered under the company's health care.

Without the extra income, Banjo said she is struggling to pay student loans.

"It's very difficult," she said. "If I didn't have my parents, I would be in trouble. A lot of trouble."

WITN reports that several other school districts in Eastern Carolina have also notified substitute teachers of the reduced hours.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.
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