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 CAB Hires Consultants to Study Insurance Issue

March 25, 2009 - The Charles A. Beard School Board voted last week to hire an Indianapolis consulting firm to help with efforts to lower the school corporation’s employee health insurance costs.

CAB will pay consultants from Educational Services Company $200 an hour for their assistance in addressing the insurance issue. Noting that CAB pays “well over a million dollars a year” in employee health insurance costs, Superintendent Gary Storie told the board he thought the total cost for ESC’s services would be $4,000-$5,000.

Board President Kevin Knott said that under CAB’s current health insurance plan, the full premium for family coverage is $25,046. “For me, that’s a lot of money,” he said, noting that some private sector plans cost about half that amount.

Board Vice President Steve Dalton asked Storie what the consultants would be doing. He wanted to know if their services would present any conflicts.

Storie explained that ESC is strictly a consulting firm. He said they are “not connected in any way, shape or form” to any insurance providers CAB might consider.

The contract describes two phases of work ESC will do. First, they’ll do an analysis of CAB’s insurance plan and try to help limit the corporation’s costs when it comes to bargaining with teachers. Second, they’ll help CAB develop specifications for RFPs -- requests for proposals -- that CAB will seek from potential insurers.

The contract provides ESC consultants with a $200 hourly rate, with estimated costs of $3,000-$4,500 for the first phase, and $2,500-$3,500 for the second. CAB would also reimburse consultants for their travel time at $50 an hour.

In other business, the board voted at last week’s meeting to give Storie permission to apply to the DOE for state reimbursement for summer school. Storie said CAB will be scaling back summer school offerings this year, with classes for grades 7-12 only, at an estimated total cost of around $24,000, with the state reimbursement expected to be about $14,400.

The board approved a proposed calendar for the 2009-2010 school year. The first day of classes will be Aug. 18, and the final day will be May 27.

Storie told the board that the new state superintendent of education has decided that early release days for professional development will no longer be counted as full days. He said CAB and other school corporations will also not be able to get waivers for extra days required for days lost due to bad weather.

In personnel matters, Storie advised the board that Beth Clapp, cafeteria manager at KHS, is retiring at the end of the school. Board President Kevin Knott thanked Clapp for her 26 years of service to CAB.

The board approved KHS teacher Bob Prescott as a substitute and extracurricular activity bus driver. As the track coach, he will be able to transport the team to Morton Memorial for practice and to the team’s meets, which will all be away. The board also approved Dawn Basicker and John Howell, respectively, as sponsors for girls and boys intramural basketball.

Storie advised the board that the school corporation, as a whole met the Adequate Yearly Progress standards required by No Child Left Behind and Indiana’s own education accountability law. However, he said Knightstown Elementary did not make AYP as an individual school, largely due to special education and social economic subgroups that didn’t meet scoring benchmarks.

At Knott’s urging, the board passed a resolution stating that the school board plans to continue holding its strategic planning meetings at CAB’s central office. State statute requires school boards to set the location of their regular meetings by resolution. The same statute also requires all special meetings of the school board to be held in the same location as the board’s regular meetings.

The board approved monthly claims totaling $1,206,605.23.


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