REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION BUDGET WORKSHOP
February 3, 2022 – 7:00 p.m.
John Read Middle School Community Room
On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSJhKa9oQfe3lydov_I-EvA
Board members: Parkin, Sadana, Gibbons, Oulton, Belfatto, (Hoffman remote)
Administration: McKinnon, Pierson Ugol, Petruzzelli, Scrofani
Others: 6 member of the public and staff, 2 representatives from Brown & Brown
CALL TO ORDER
Chris Parkin called the meeting to order at 7:09 p.m.
PUBLIC COMMENT None.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT None.
HEALTH INSURANCE OVERVIEW BY BROWN & BROWN PRESENTED BY JAY FIORELLO
1) ER9 partially self-funded medical and dental program administered by Anthem has consistently outperformed the State Partnership Program (SPP) with the broad adoption of a high deductible health plan (HDHO) in 2018 the Plan has saved $3.7 million through June 2021 in comparison to the SPP and they project continues savings through June 2023;
2) Self-funded performance of ER9, Redding were reviewed over the years;
3) Aggregate insurance was discussed but Anthem will not provide a separate aggregate for each entity;
4) High Cost Claimants (HCC) were reviewed for ER9 and Redding;
5) Individual Stop Loss (ISL) was compared from $150k to $200k, costs, savings, and losses.
The recommendation of Brown & Brown is that ER9 maintain the self-funded plan with a $175k stop loss.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: REDDING 2022-2023 BUDGET
Dr. McKinnon revisited the items that were agreed could be removed to reduce the overall increase:
Transportation Contract, 75 Chromebooks purchased through a grant, mid-shift custodian, field trip transportation. Some additional reductions in water testing, increase in Pre-k revenue and ESSER grants resulted in an overall increase of 4.38% down from 4.94%.
Definitions of different types of para educators, behavior technicians were reviewed.
Discussion of possible savings with the SPP were debated. M. Hoffman is reluctant to leave the current self-funded program because a better cycle for us with regards to claims should be beginning. Central Office Administration believes that the ER9 staff have come to rely on the current insurance program. Vicki Cram intended to speak to some neighboring districts who are in SPP, noting that she thought Westport was endeavoring to exit that program and that the state has mismanaged the CT MERS program and she is concerned it will be properly funded. It would take approximately 90 days to complete the transition when working with the union. Dr. McKinnon is concerned about going through that process during the heavy workload during the budget process with 3 entities.
Dr. McKinnon noted again that the current budget is just maintenance and does not allow for new programs that move the schools forward. The small, discretionary portion of the budget is what can set a school apart if it is used strategically.
S. Oulton notes that a maintenance budget year after year does not move the school forward, and eventually we are stagnant or moving backwards. S Scrofani is a major asset to the schools as we need focus on technology. Dr. Pierson Ugol points out that Curriculum is a very small part of the budget and needs more support, both in personnel and money. Professional Development is often cut. Several board members were concerned by this and would like to see more budget money go towards curriculum.
J. Belfatto is concerned that our cost per pupil is high and test scores do not seem to reflect the money spent. How these are calculated is debated. J. Belfatto is concerned we are focusing too much on technology at a young age and not allowing kids to play. Dr. McKinnon notes that a good strategic plan takes time and that a new curriculum does not necessarily translate into more dollars spent.
C. Parkin is still concerned that we will have HCC’s and that our trend of high claims will continue.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education meeting be adjourned Gibbons, Sadana Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:58 p.m.
Submitted by Stephanie Oulton
Secretary, Redding Board of Education