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Below the overview of the district are links to KBIA's coverage of Columbia 93 district schools, updated as more stories are published. Columbia 93 at a glanceThe Columbia 93 school district currently includes 32 different schools. In 2014, the district had a k-12 enrollment of 17,204 students, which is 2% of the total k-12 enrollment for the state. Enrollment has been slightly increasing in recent years, 2% since 2011. While a small percent, that amounts to almost 400 more students. There have also been major re-drawing of attendance areas with the addition of Battle High School. Middle school attendance areas shape high school boundaries 00000178-cc7d-da8b-a77d-ec7d2f9e0000The changes have affected all schools in the district, including causing high school attendance to increase and overcrowding at one middle school at least.

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. 

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