MUNCIE — Teachers at deficit-ridden Muncie Community Schools have agreed to repay the school district about $700,000 for underpayment of health insurance premiums over the two previous school years.
The teachers have entered a memorandum of agreement allowing the reimbursements to be paid over 18 pay periods, according to Steve Edwards, a state-appointed emergency manager of the district.
"It would have been difficult for any of us to pay that debt on the spot," Edwards told the school board recently. "In some cases, it's substantial."
"You can imagine a teacher not being able to pay back $3,000 to $4,000 in one pay check, so we extended it out over 18 pay periods," Edwards told the state's Distressed Unit Appeal Board (DUAB) last week.
"Collecting that reimbursement would be significant for the district if we can collect all of that reimbursement," Edwards said at the DUAB meeting. "That's the challenge. The challenge for (CFO) Mr. (Bob) Coddington, the challenge for the district, the challenge for the business office will certainly be to collect reimbursement from those teachers who are no longer with us … That would be a process. Getting all that money will be a real challenge."
The Star Press asked MCS how aggressive it would be in collecting the debt. Will it take former teachers to court if necessary?