Keep your $250, some Pasco teachers say
Every year, Florida teachers get about $250 from the state to offset out-of-pocket expenses for classroom supplies.
This year, some Pasco County teachers are saying they don't want the money. It's their response to a district memo requiring them to scan and submit all receipts associated with their purchases.
If they don't turn in the receipts by April 1, the money would be deducted from their paycheck and sent to their school's advisory committee account instead.
"So much for USEP negotiating a reduction in paperwork!" one angry teacher said.
The upshot, according to the school district, has been an unexpected request. "Some teachers have asked if they can reject the money," employee relations director Betsy Kuhn.
At first, the district considered giving the money for teachers and then having them write a check back. Instead, Kuhn said, the district created an opt-out format in the employee online access system. Those who opt out would have their share sent to their school's SAC.
So far, the choice has been little used, Kuhn said. But the inquiries started coming late last week and again on Monday.
The district made the requirement to comply with IRS reporting rules.
This is not the first time the supply funds have come under scrutiny. Two years ago, Gov. Rick Scott made waves by trying to give the money directly to teachers as debit cards, an effort that districts rejected as impractical.