GREENE: Carrollton school district health insurance stays static
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By Carmen Ensinger
Carrollton School District received good news again this year when it came time to renew their health insurance for another year. The renewal rate for this coming year went up only two percent over last year, which, Carrollton Superintendent Mark Halwachs says is great news for the district.
“All in all, in the three years I have been with the district, with this two percent increase, our total rate has only gone up four percent in those three years,” he said. “It went up two percent the first year, zero percent last year and two percent this year. Any way you look at it – that is flippin’ awesome.”
The district has been with United Healthcare for the past three years. Halwachs said they use a broker, Cornerstone, who bids it out every year.
“We negotiate our rate through the broker and if they come back with a price we don’t like, we tell them we don’t like that price and to try to do better,” Halwachs said. “It is kind of like buying a car. You negotiate until you get to a price you like.”
Halwachs reported to the board another record month for County One-Cent Sales Tax Money for the district. This month the district received a check in the amount of $18,103. Last month the district received $19,677 and the month prior to that right at $19,700 for a three-month total of $57,480.
“To my knowledge, these have been the three highest months for the district in county one-cent sales tax money,” he said. “That is a lot of money, not only to our district, but to the other district who receive it as well.”
The money is distributed according to the district’s enrollment. North Greene receives the lion’s share of the money because they have the highest enrollment, followed by Carrollton with Greenfield coming in third.
While many people think the closing of Kroger would make the reduce the amount of sales tax in the county, Halwachs said that doesn’t affect the amount of County One-Cent Sales Tax the schools receive.
“The one-cent sales tax is not applied to food items, so people buying food at Kroger were not contributing to our county sales tax fund, unless they were buying paper products or other regularly taxed items,” Halwachs said. “However, now that people have to go to Dollar General for milk and bread, I think they are going ahead and picking up their cleaning items while they are there instead of driving over to Wal-Mart.”
Halwachs said the increase in the price of gas and the increase in the price of lumber also helped.
“People are using their stimulus money to go places and they are buying more gas,” he said. “They are also using that money to maybe do some building projects. I know LaCrosse is doing some good business right now.”
The board approved for Halwachs to apply for a school maintenance grant for Fiscal Year 2022. This is a state matching grant in the amount of $50,000. Halwachs said the grant would be to abate asbestos tile in the hallways and some of the classrooms at the high school.
The board approved the resignation of grade school music teacher Kelsey Bethel, who took a job at Collinsville High School. They also accepted the resignation of Family Liaison Lindsey Steinacher, who accepted a position with the Calhoun School District and Tiffany Flowers resigned as the junior high girl’s basketball coach.
The board made several hires including: Ashley Steinacher as teacher assistant at the grade school; Megan field, teacher assistant; Megan Lesemann, grade school teacher and Michelle Cordes as part-time grade school art teacher.