The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) received notice, in late 2019, from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the current Computer Science stipend payment system must be amended. This change is a result of audit findings from the IRS and subsequent guidance from the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), regarding payments of all bonuses and stipends.
Under this revised process, funds will be disbursed by DESE to eligible educators’ employing school districts, charter schools, and education service cooperatives. These employers will then issue payment to the eligible educators as bonuses. For FY20 and FY21, the Office of Computer Science has sufficient funding to include matching taxes and benefits, including teacher retirement. The advantages of this process for the recipient of the bonus, is two-fold: 1) the recipient will not have to take additional steps report the bonus on their taxes as the appropriate rates will be withheld prior to the issuance of bonuses; and 2) the bonus will be included as part of the educator’s teacher retirement benefits.
This change affects more than just the Computer Science Initiative Stipends, but our program’s stipend and award payments must comply with the changes.
Therefore, beginning on January 1, 2020, all Computer Science Initiative Bonus payments to Arkansas educators, will be sent to the educator’s employing district for distribution to the educators by their district as a bonus.
In order to lighten the potential burden on district personnel, the ADE Office of Computer Science will process these payments two times a calendar year based on the following schedule:
- Districts will receive disbursements by August 15 - for approved applications/awards approved between January 1 and June 30; bonuses are to be paid to appropriate educators by September 30th.
- Districts will receive disbursements by February 15 - for approved applications/awards approved between July 1 and December 31; bonuses are to be paid to appropriate educators by March 30th.
Districts will receive a list of educators meeting the eligibility criteria for receiving the bonus payments and the amounts they should receive. The districts will review received lists for any errors and notify the ADE. ADE will respond to any questions and make any needed corrections. Information for finance and payment processing is provided below.
Links to the three bonus application systems are:
This change does not affect the 528 Computer Science Arkansas License Application/Renewal Fee Reimbursement, Computer Science PRAXIS Reimbursement, or CSTA Sponsorship/Reimbursement programs.
Finance and Payment Processing
The revenue the district receives for supplemental salary Computer Science Stipends shall be receipted in fund 2001 to revenue code 32221.
The exact amount of funds for salary must be transferred to the teacher salary fund with accounts 69315 and 52205. This will be the journal entry required to make the transfer from fund 2001 to fund 1000:
DR 2001-5200-000-000-00 69315
CR 2001 01010 (CASH)
DR 1000 01010 (CASH)
CR 1000 52205
The following pay code and job class will be added to all eFinance database tables for paying the Computer Science Bonuses from ADE to employees in the one-time annual bonus. This payroll will be subject to taxes and ATRS only. It is the district’s responsibility to follow IRS tax withholding guidelines for supplemental pay.
This is a one-time unique/separate annual supplemental payroll for this select group of employees for whom you will have a list from ADE with names and bonus amounts for each.
For those employees whose regular salary is paid from a federal fund, the sixteen-digit expenditure budget unit to pay this bonus from the TS Fund must be keyed to this payroll timecard (or spreadsheet) as well since all of the salary revenue is required to be paid from the TS fund. The expenditure object for bonus salary (61510) will default from the designated pay code.
Pay Code: 615 – ADE SUPPLEMENTAL SALARY BONUS
Job Class: B002 – ADE COMPUTER SCIENCE BONUS
Note if you do not have a ‘0’ Generic Calendar, district will need to update ‘Calendar Type’ on this Job Class. Call in an APSCN ticket for assistance if needed.
Pay Code 615 will default to a time card with this job class.