The Ketchikan School Board will vote Wednesday on a motion to pay off the school district’s health insurance reserve deficit.
According to a memo from Superintendent Robert Boyle, the reserve fund is about $112,000 in the red as of July 24th. He writes that the recommended $400,000 budget transfer into that fund would cover the deficit and anticipated upcoming claims through mid-September.
During his report to the borough assembly on Monday evening, Boyle said he’s been waiting to make that announcement for years.
“This is a payment of a debt, if you will,” he said. “It’s something that we’ve had negative funds within the insurance service fund that the borough carries since 2009. We had a catastrophic type of a process. The pool is about $2 million, and it went over a million dollars in debt. I won’t get into all the numbers, I don’t have them right at the top of my head. But it’s taken us years to get out of that debt.”
Removing the insurance reserve fund deficit is one of the requests made by Ketchikan Education Association in its contract proposal, although KEA also wants the district to bring the fund further into the black than this transfer would accomplish.
KEA and the district have been negotiating a new teaching contract, and negotiations are not going well. The process is headed into arbitration. To that end, the school board also will vote Wednesday on an arbitration-services contract with Anchorage-based attorney John Sedor.
The proposed contract would cost the district up to $75,000.
Wednesday’s board meeting starts at 6 p.m. in borough assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start and end of the meeting.