Costs Eligilbilty

Premium Pay (HOLD)

Detailed Discussion

The Cleburne ISD board of trustees passed a provision to the district’s premium pay policy in response to COVID-19 during a Monday night meeting.

Under the provision, nonexempt employees who are required to work during an emergency closing for a disaster, as declared by a federal, state or local official or the board, shall be paid at the rate of one and one half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked up to 40 hours per week.

Andrea Hensley, CISD human resources assistant superintendent, said the provision will allow the district to seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“As you know, in the event of a federal disaster districts can submit a reimbursement request to FEMA, and then FEMA determines eligibility of those requests for public assistance,” she said. “They are often things like for people who actually have to come into work during the disaster.”

FEMA normally requires that a premium pay provision be in place before a federal disaster is declared to be reimbured, but Hensley said both the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Association of School Boards are suggesting, that because of the magnitude and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, that it may be waived.

“They suggest that you go ahead and put this provision in place for that reason and just in case you might seek reimbursement from other entities that will provide reimbursement for this kind of thing in the event of a disaster,” she said. “So for these reasons the TEA recommends that every district have adopted a premium paid provision in their policy.”

CISD Superintendent Kyle Health said it is possible for the district to be refunded from FEMA up to 75 percent of the policy.

“It is actually for the whole period that we are not having active face-to-face instructional school,” he said.

Not all expenses will be covered by FEMA, but other funding streams may be created through the CARES Act and other future funding allocations. The TEA suggests districts track all costs related to COVID-19, including staff time, such as:

• Distance learning expenses, including purchasing electronic devices and communications infrastructure.

• Cleaning and sanitizing schools.

• Additional online learning and communication platform licenses.

• Communication and public information costs.

• Curriculum development.

• Supplies for paper distance learning packets and delivery costs (where online learning is not feasible).

• Expenses to continue food assistance program services.

Related Subjects & Topics

Costs Eligilbilty

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