On Tuesday, the Missouri Congressional delegation received a response from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the IRS to their December 17th inquiry into the handling of issues regarding Missouri’s section 218 agreements and their application to Missouri educators. The delegation asked the agencies to confirm in writing that any enforcement would be prospective and that the compliance date of July 1, 2009 would be dropped. (The actual response received on January 7, 2009 can be viewed at this link http://www.masaonline.org/pages/uploaded_files/SSA%201.16%20response.pdf
The agencies agreed that the enforcement would be prospective and that the July 1, 2009 date would not be adhered to. Although the specific language of the letter suggests the July 1, 2009 date may still be in effect – Senator McCaskill's office received verbal confirmation from both agencies that there will not be any enforcement actions taken on July 1, 2009. The Congressional delegation is hopeful this provides relief to districts that are currently negotiating contracts.
The agencies also stated their desire to resolve the situation by July 1, 2010, but would be in a better position to advise the delegation after the 60-day evaluation. Based on the current positive and collaborative work environment in the state, including the IRS, SSA, Missouri Office of Administration and the Public School Retirement System as well as various stakeholders in the education community, the Missouri Congressional delegation believes the situation is on the right path to a resolution that is fair and reasonable, and appreciates the agencies commitment for such a resolution. The Congressional delegation will have a briefing on the findings of the 60-day evaluation team when they complete their work.
If you have the opportunity, please convey your gratitude to Missouri U.S. Representatives and Senators for their help with this issue. It is because of their involvement that the July 2009 enforcement date has been eliminated.