• July 24, 2014

School board hopefuls discuss health insurance

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Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 11:45 pm

Killeen Independent School District board candidates for the Place 4 seat weighed in Wednesday on what they think is the best process for selecting a health insurance plan for district employees.

Last year, Killeen ISD used an employee survey to rate health care providers. However, the board subsequently voted to select a different plan than the one most employees favored.

During Tuesday’s workshop, board members reviewed an evaluation by the Texas Association of School Business Officials that suggested the district use a committee to explore its employees’ needs.

Candidate Aya Eneli, who attended the workshop, said implementing a committee is a step in the right direction, if the committee includes employees at all different levels as well as Killeen ISD administrators.

“If you’re going to tell people they have a voice, then you have to have a mechanism from which to listen to that voice,” she said. “Starting off with a committee is a great step. Those people can be experts who find other ways to convey information, and a survey doesn’t have to be the only one.”

Candidate Marvin Rainwater said the survey was not a beneficial tool for the district to use in determining a health insurance plan.

Instead, Rainwater said it’s important for the district to facilitate face-to-face meetings between the staff and someone who can explain the available health care options.

“That’s going to take time and energy, but that’s certainly worth the time and energy,” he said.

“To me, you’re going to meet with the employees as a group ... to see what they want and what they understand. I think a huge part of the problem is to get health insurance that fits everybody.”

Candidate Brockley Moore said there will never be a plan that meets every employee’s needs. But, if the district gives itself ample time to seek proposals from inside and outside the community, the needs of a large majority of employees would be met.

Moore said the district should hire a consultant and then have the superintendent and his committee present the best three plans to the school board.

“The superintendent’s committee would consist of (different) campuses employees, district employees, community leaders, business owners and most of all, the district finance director,” Moore said.

“We would need (the) finance director to keep the committee within the budget. If we follow these steps, we could serve our employees with a good insurance plan.”

Lan Carter, who endorsed Rainwater on Wednesday, said a survey and committee are good ideas, if they’re done in a way that’s an accurate representation of all employees.

“My main question is who gets to choose who gets to be on the committee,” she said. “Is it administrators or is it going to be the actual staff? Is it going to be aides?”

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