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School employees facing hike in health insurance

Halifax County Public School employees may face a 5.1 percent hike in their health insurance premiums in the 2012-13 benefit year.

Patsy Akridge of Akridge Insurance and Financial has consulted with the school system for 13 years. During the Monday night school board meeting, Akridge told school board members the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield renewal for the Oct. 1 contract year is projected to have a 5.1 percent increase based on a medical claims loss ratio of 77.3 percent.

“It was calling for a 10.5 percent increase,” said Akridge who negotiated with the medical company to lower the premium.

She recommended to the board they renew the contract with
 Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield for the 2012-2013 benefit year and also adopt 12-month rates to comply with COBRA, FMLA regulations and to make allowances for retirees to be able to pay premiums over a 12 months basis versus 10-month basis.

The contract has to be approved no later than Sept. 28, and the board is expected to vote at its September meeting.

In other business Monday evening, board members appointed Chris Lacks as assistant principal at South Boston Elementary and Barbara Owen as lead teacher of special education.

ED-5 trustee Dr. Roger Long and ED-6 trustee Fay Satterfield discussed the 27th annual Governor’s Conference on Education held in Richmond on July 31. 

According to Long, almost 800 participants attended the opening and closed meetings that included five workshop sessions.

Executive Director for Administration Valdivia Marshall received approval for the 2012-2013 school fees.

New Director of Finance Jay Camp gave the financial report and got approval to pay the monthly bills.

Before adjourning, board members went into closed session to discuss personnel issues.

When board members emerged, they unanimously approved the appointment of Chris Lacks as assistant principal of South Boston Elementary, Barbara Owen as lead teacher of special education, and approved the personnel report 6-0 with ED-7 trustee R.K. “Dick” Stoneman abstaining. 

They also unanimously approved the addition of a Meadville bus driver and appropriated a $3,000 stipend in the Carl Perkins fund for the career and technical program. 

A total of $12,000 was appropriated for secretarial support for the school system’s educational foundation by a 5-2 vote with Satterfield and Stoneman opposing.

ED-3 trustee Kimberly Farson was absent from Monday’s meeting.