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“This is a tremendous challenge for the commonwealth since the IRS has yet to issue guidance for us,” she said. “The governor had to act and take responsibility and make sure the parameters were clear as we understand the requirements of the law.”

Heavy course loads like Ms. Hubbard‘s, Ms. Fornash said, are the exception, not the rule. Three-fourths of community college adjuncts teach fewer than 27 credit hours a year anyway, many of them augmenting full-time jobs in other fields.

“You might have an accountant by day who teaches a section or two of accounting at night,” she said.

None of which comforts Hubbard, who worked her way through undergraduate and graduate school and her unfinished doctoral program tending bar and waiting tables, all so she could one day teach history. These days, arthritic knees rule out a moonlight job bartending, she said.

“As you know, finding work is difficult. If I can find something full-time, then I’d have to give up teaching and I really don’t want to do that,” Ms. Hubbard said.