The South Putnam School Board met Wednesday during a special meeting to hear public comment about the proposed 2007 budget. But with no public available for comment, the board moved on to an insurance presentation put on by Vincennes Insurance.
Vincennes Insurance, who represents Anaheim Medical Insurance in Southern Indiana and several schools and hospitals, had provided the teachers with information about changes in health benefits package earlier that afternoon.
Jim Franklin, along with his colleagues Kristy Franklin and Bill Henry, informed the board on what they provided to the teachers during their two-hour meeting.
Jim explained to the board that the insurance increases were going up, which makes it hard for the teachers to receive the increases they need to have. He said that if the board provided higher deductibles for its employees, then the employees will be more responsible and be better consumers.
Jim provided several scenarios with different dollar amounts to show the board what is available to it and the teachers. Supt. Bruce Bernhardt told the BannerGraphic that it is up to the board to decide what dollar amount it wants to give the teachers. He also said that the coverage would not change, just the way it was funded.
By providing this type of benefits package, Vincennes Insurance would also become the board's agent of record. An agent of record acts on behalf of the insured and works with them during discussions with the Anaheim.
The board is in no way signing a binding contract with Vincennes Insurance if it approved the changes.
According to Jim, the teachers were very favorable to look at these changes. Some of the board members liked the idea of using Vincennes Insurance as its agent of record, but Nancy Wells was skeptical about throwing so much at the teachers during their negotiations. The board approved tabling the topic until the board discussed it more with the teachers.
In other business, the board:
-- Approved by a vote of 5-0 to transfer Becky Arnold's bond for high school treasurer to Marsha Thompson for $20,000 and Becky Samsell's bond of $500,000 for corporation treasurer.
-- Approved by a vote of 5-0 benefits package for the classified staff.
-- Approved by a vote of 4-1 the resignation of high school Spanish teacher and Spanish Club sponsor Kim Fidler, high school BPA advisor Deanne Blankenship, Central Elementary lunch cashier Carrie Tomasino, and Central Elementary student aide Angie Harbaugh, and the hiring Supt. Bernhardt for a three-year contract and Central Elementary lunch cashier Lisa Tandy.
The board has set up both its regularly scheduled meeting and its budget adoption hearing for Monday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. These meetings are open to the public.