Amherst school officials: Self-funded medical health insurance model to get monetary savings | Latest Headlines

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The Amherst County School Board agreed by consensus at its July 14 meeting to proceed with a process to place money aside for the aim of supporting a self-funded medical health insurance model.

The division plans to ask the Amherst County Board of Supervisors to authorize using its 2021-22 budget carryover money for the aim of beginning a funding source to cover health insurance-related costs. That pot of cash can be built on an annual basis because the division works to get monetary savings by going to a self-funded model, based on Amherst County Public Schools Superintendent William Wells.

“The self-insured option continues to be operated through Anthem and the entire coverage for the workers won’t change,” Wells said after the meeting. “Moving to this selection might be more cost efficient for the varsity division and will keep insurance costs lower for our employees. The changes might be on the executive side and the workers won’t see change of their insurance coverage.”

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The board spent roughly half an hour on July 14 discussing specifics of a move to a completely self-funded insurance model with a consultant on the matter. A balanced funding insurance plan within the 2021-22 budget function a very good stepping stone in that transition process, based on school officials.

The expected savings in dental coverage from the measure is just greater than $62,200, based on the report presented to the board on July 14. Other advantages include greater flexibility, improving money flow, avoiding some state mandates and having lower fixed costs, the consultant’s report said.

Kim Lukanich, chief financial officer for the division, said the carryover money is estimated at greater than $1 million and will be near $1.5 million. The varsity board typically requests supervisors appropriate carryover money for capital improvement plan projects, but this yr the division seeks to make use of that cash for the medical health insurance fund.

Also throughout the meeting, Gary Roakes, the division’s supervisor of maintenance and operations, said cabinets and wiring recently were installed for the aim of charging a pair of latest electric school buses that soon might be added to the division’s fleet. The charging stations on the transportation office adjoining to Central Elementary School will come online this school yr and the division is working on a grant for 2 additional electric buses, Roakes said.

Chief Operations Officer Tim Hoden said it is going to take eight hours to totally charge a bus, however the expectation is charging will only take three or so hours when the buses are up and running. Drivers of those buses will keep logs on the starting and ending percentage of power, in addition to temperature reads on cold and hot days.

An electrical bus is anticipated to cover 130 miles when fully charged, Hoden said. Nonetheless, temperatures may affect that, he said.

In one other matter, the board gave its consensus on an updated grading policy. Under the brand new policy any rating from 0 to 59 is an F, replacing a previous approach to setting the bottom possible rating of fifty or 40 during stretches of the varsity yr.

School board members recently said they didn’t want students to get an automatic grade they hadn’t earned in the event that they had done no work. The policy also will include a paragraph board members spoke in favor of that states: “ACPS will proceed to work with students on a person basis if extenuating circumstances exist causing a fluctuation in the coed’s grade that will not be reflective of their ability level and former performance.”

Vice Chair Chris Terry thanked Assistant Superintendent Dana Norman and other administrators for his or her work.

“I believe you took our concerns and got here up with a way more comfortable policy,” Terry said. “It wasn’t a simple thing you worked through but you probably did a very good job.”

School board member Dawn Justice said based on some concerns raised about some explicit content in libraries, she would really like the board to debate a policy on print materials. The division has a solid policy for technology use in that regard but is lacking on the print side, Justice said. The varsity system needs a policy for educators to lean on, she said. The board plans to debate the matter further during a July 28 work session.

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