No change this year in NCSS health pre­mi­ums

Su­per­in­ten­dent warns of loom­ing 2010 cuts

The Covington News - - Front page - By Am­ber Pittman

Cuts in em­ployee health care, a con­tro­ver­sial topic raised by the New­ton County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion at their Sept. 9 meet­ing, will not hap­pen this year al­though Su­per­in­ten­dent Steven What­ley was quick to point out New­ton County will see cuts in its fu­ture.

Ini­tially What­ley rec­om­mended ap­prov­ing the school district’s par- tic­i­pa­tion in the em­ployee por­tion of the 2009 State Health In­sur­ance pre­mium at a flat rate of $50 per month, ac­cord­ing to a memo re­leased.

That would have al­lowed all em­ploy­ees, re­gard­less of the in­sur­ance pre­mium, the abil­ity to pay $50 less than the stated pre­mium for State Health In­sur­ance. That op­tion would also have saved the sys­tem about $300,000 which would have helped off­set the $2.2 mil­lion in ad­di­tional bud­get cuts that was ini­tially ex­pected in the FY 09 bud­get ex­pen­di­tures.

But af­ter new in­for­ma­tion sur­faced dur­ing a con­fer­ence call with State Su­per­in­ten­dent Kathy Cox, What­ley found in­stead of the 2 per­cent cut — or a bit more than $1 mil­lion — based on Qual­ity Based Ed­u­ca­tion funds, the sys­tem will face an ad­di­tional cut of roughly $1.9 mil­lion. This num­ber is in con­trast to what the board had ex­pected to be about $2.2 mil­lion and a dif­fer­ence of roughly $300,000. QBE fund­ing is a method the state uses to al­lo­cate funds for pub­lic schools based on en­roll­ment along with trans­porta­tion and equal­iza­tion and not the QBE earn­ings

“We pre­sented three op­tions,”

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