School board eliminates medical insurance for members [The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester] – InsuranceNewsNet


Jun. 19—SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS have voted to eliminate their district-provided medical insurance effective July 1 and can formally ask aldermen to extend the stipend for Board of School Committee members from $2,000 to $4,000 per 12 months starting in 2024.

The vote got here after a request that the Manchester School District return to an 80-20 split on the price of medical insurance for college board members — with the district picking up 80% — was sent back to committee for more discussion weeks ago.

Members of the Policy Committee — Leslie Want, Nicole Leapley, Peter Perich, Sean Parr and Jason Bonilla — voted unanimously in April to rescind a motion made in 2019 to approve a 5% annual increase in the price of medical insurance for college members starting in 2019.

At the moment, Policy Committee members voted to recommend going back to the previous arrangement, where board members paid 20% of the price. In January 2022, the split was 60% for board members and 40% for the district.

Committee members last week approved eliminating medical insurance altogether for college board members.

School board members really useful that as an alternative of receiving medical insurance advantages, future school board members should as an alternative get a $4,000-a-year stipend, the identical amount the Board of Mayor and Aldermen receive.

Ward 11’s Leapley first raised the problem in July 2021 in a letter to board members, detailing how before she was elected she had coverage through the Reasonably priced Care Act Marketplace.

Once elected, she was now not eligible for that plan because she receives health care coverage through the Manchester School District as an elected official with worker status.

“In other words, I discovered that to serve on the varsity board, I needed to pay for the privilege.”

School District Chief Financial Officer Karen DeFrancis said three school board members currently have medical insurance through the district and 4 receive dental advantages.

Amended city, schools budget approved

Last month, aldermen voted to override the town’s tax cap to approve a $378 million budget for fiscal 12 months 2023. Rising property valuations ultimately might keep the tax rate below the cap.

The budget, authored by Board of Mayor and Aldermen Chairman Pat Long, provides $187 million for schools and $169 million for city services.

In a tax-cap budget presented this spring, Mayor Joyce Craig proposed spending $376 million — including $167 million on the town side and $189 million for the varsity district.

Long’s budget provides $2 million less for schools than the mayor proposed, citing thousands and thousands in emergency federal funding available to city schools and passage of HB 420, which might bring $5.2 million from the state to the Manchester School District in FY23.

Last week school board members approved an amended budget, which achieves the brand new, lower amount through reductions in worker advantages, out-of-district tuition ($500,000) and a delay in paying principal on bond payments this 12 months ($965,000).

About $1,150,000 was cut from worker advantages since the state might be covering the price of those advantages for one 12 months, school officials said.

One other $709,000 in reductions to transportation costs was made because these costs will now be covered by grants.

The $2 million in cuts doesn’t include any layoffs or impact student services, school officials said.

Grants for community projects

If Senate Bill 420 becomes law, an estimated $3.9 million will come to Manchester, making the approved cuts a moot point. SB 420 establishes “extraordinary need grants,” which can provide $25 million to colleges with lower proportionate property values as compared to the number of scholars they serve.

Last week, Mayor Craig and officials with the Planning and Community Development Department released a full list of first-round recipients, together with information on the beginning of a second round of funding, from Manchester’s Community Event and Activation Grant program, which launched in February.

Throughout the first round of funding, 29 different community groups and nonprofits received funds totaling $253,862.98. Recipients were chosen by a committee made up of representatives from the Department of Planning and Community Development, Department of Public Works, Office of Economic Development, Health Department and the Office of the City Clerk.

A full breakdown of the grant recipients may be found at

This system was approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in 2021 as a part of the American Rescue Plan Act recommendations. The Community Event and Activation Grant (CEAG) program allocated $1 million to support and increase the variety of community-based projects and events in an effort to assist Manchester recuperate from the negative effects of COVID-19.

“The primary round of recipients used their grant money for dozens of exciting community programs and initiatives equivalent to community wide celebrations with live music, food and dancing; athletic opportunities with soccer, basketball and disc golf; and neighborhood improvements including community gardens, murals and bike racks,” Craig said in an announcement.

“I’m excited to see what else our community brings forward with this next round of funding.”

Manchester Moves is working with public works and Revision Energy to put in solar lighting in two of the town’s rail tunnels.

“This lighting will greatly enhance the protection and usefulness of our trails for all users,” said Don Waldron of Manchester Moves, a volunteer trail organization that received a grant through the primary round of funding. “This project wouldn’t have been possible at the moment without the assistance of the CEAG program.”

The second round of funding opened on June 15, and applications are due by Aug. 15. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible to expedite the applying review process.

Applicants can apply for as much as $10,000 per grant for community-based projects and events that contribute to economic development and tourism and support a vibrant and healthy community. All applicants are required to offer a minimum 25% match for every project or event, which may include direct funding, in-kind donations or volunteer hours.

The applying for Manchester’s Community Event and Activation Grant program may be found at

Accomplished applications may be emailed to [email protected] with the topic line “CEAG Application”, or mailed to City of Manchester, Planning and Community Development, Attn: CEAG Application, 1 City Hall Plaza, Manchester, NH 03101.

Email [email protected] or call (603) 792-6725 with any questions.

Paul Feely is the City Hall reporter for the Recent Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. Reach him at [email protected].


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