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 Computer Science Bonuses
The revenue the district receives for supplemental salary for
Computer Science Bonuses shall be receipted in fund 2941 to
revenue code 32221. The bonuses shall be paid from the TS fund 1941.
For those employees whose regular salary is paid from a federal
fund, the sixteen-digit expenditure budget unit to pay this bonus for the Computer
Science Bonus must be keyed to the payroll timecard (or spreadsheet)
to fund 1941. The expenditure object for bonus salary (61510) will
default from the designated required pay code.
following pay code and job class has been added to all eFinance database tables
for paying the Computer Science Bonuses from ADE to employees in the one-time
Code: 615 – ADE SUPPLEMENTAL SALARY BONUS
Class: B002 – ADE COMPUTER SCIENCE BONUS
Code 615 will default to a time card with this job class
payroll will be subject to taxes and ATRS only. It is the district’s
responsibility to follow IRS tax withholding guidelines for supplemental