The Columbia Public Schools are Looking at Increases in the Budget Plan
The Columbia Board of Education is considering a 5.5 million dollar increase to its budget next year. Columbia Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Linda Quinley presented the spending plan at the board meeting last night. Board Member Darin Preis asked about a problem regarding the health care coverage offered to full time employees.
“A pediatrician approached me and Jonathan [board member], and pointed out to us that we’re one of the only large employers in the community that don’t provide well-child check-ups,” said Preis.
Quinley agreed the coverage for children does seem counterintuitive. She says the policy offers coverage immunizations, but not check-ups. Just maintaining the same insurance coverage for full time employees next year is expected to cost the school district an extra 1.2 million dollars.
“We are seeing not an increase number of claims, but we are seeing an increase in cost so I think the dentists have finally raised the rates,” said Quinley.
Quinley said the district would stick with the same insurance carrier because the district offers such a “rich” policy and other insurance companies would have higher premiums. She also said this is the largest increase the board has seen. Quinley said the goal is to have enough money in the self-insured funds to pay off the open claims due increase of rates.
Quinley said the board and district will need to get more local feedback before putting the budget plan together for next month.