TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

February 14, 2013

KSBIT sees $28M deficit


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN —  

CORRECTION - Published Feb. 19, 2013 - In a story which appeared in the Feb. 14 edition, Williamsburg Independent Superintendent Denny Byrd was attributed as saying the following: “I’m very upset with the (Kentucky School Boards Association) and the Department of Education and (state) insurance board. Somebody dropped the ball.”

He said the School Board Association had supported schools utilizing the KSBIT group, “and now we’re out a hundred and one thousand dollars.”

“(It’s) a lesson learned for the future. It’s the same as stealing from the kids of the state of Kentucky.”

This was actually said by School Board member Allen Steely, not Denny Byrd. This was a reporter error and we regret any inconvenience or confusion this has caused.

 

By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

Kentucky school districts got some tough news last month.

The Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust, which oversaw a risk pool, low-cost insurance program to cover workman’s compensation, property and liability insurance and other services to its members, has accumulated a $28 million deficit.

And member school districts, including Williamsburg Independent Schools, learned they will have to make up the difference.

The KSBIT sent an unsigned memo to its members explaining the executive board decision to assess between $50 and $60 million to its member body to make up the deficit.

Kentucky League of Cities Director Jonathan Steiner said the assessment would not only cover the deficit, but also repay an $8 million loan made by KLC to the KSBIT. Another $4 million would cover a state premium tax.

The remainder, according to Steiner, covers administration costs and payment of a new company to oversee the program.

Williamsburg Independent Board of Education members got the news during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday that their assessment is $101,000.

Superintendent Denny Byrd explained there are “options to pay” this assessment. He said it can be paid in a lump sum, or a set amount paid per year up to 20 years.

“(We) don’t want to pay it,” Byrd told board members Tuesday. “But (we) can’t help it — we’re all having to bite the bullet.”

KSBIT is not accepting renewals with the program, so Williamsburg Independent Schools will have to seek another source for those insurance needs.

“I’m very upset with the (Kentucky School Boards Association) and the Department of Education and (state) insurance board,” Byrd said. “Somebody dropped the ball.”

He said the School Board Association had supported schools utilizing the KSBIT group, “and now we’re out a hundred and one thousand dollars.”

“(It’s) a lesson learned for the future,” Byrd said. ‘It’s the same as stealing from the kids of the state of Kentucky.”

No board action was required on this matter.

In other board of education business:

— The Williamsburg Independent Board of Education voted to change its regular monthly meeting from the second Tuesday of the month to the third Tuesday.

That means the next meeting of the Board of Education will be March 19.

One reason offered for the change was to “keep an eye on things.”

Board member Kim Williams motioned to approve the new meeting day, with a second from Board member Allen Steely. A show-of-hands vote showed present board members were unanimous in this decision. Absent from the Tuesday meeting was Board member Roger Faulkner.

— Three properties purchased by the school board in an effort to expand the campus are now going up for sale.

Byrd explained those properties were bought before this latest expansion, which was contiguous to the school — and now the school no longer needs the excess land.

He said he contacted state officials for a procedure to sell the properties. “We don’t need the excess property,” Byrd said, adding if the board puts the property on the market and sells it, that sale “could help (the) budget.”

Board member Kim White motioned to approve marketing the property, with a second from Steely. A show-of-hands vote showed present board members were unanimous in their decision.

— During the review and approval of the minutes from last month’s meeting, as well as the monthly invoices and treasurer’s report, little was said. Byrd recommended board members approve the items. Before the vote, Williams noted that despite being advertised that the January meeting started at 6 p.m., the board actually began its meeting an hour earlier, at 5.

That was noted in the minutes. White motioned to approve the minutes, monthly bills and treasurer’s report, with a second from Steely. A show-of-hands vote proved the present members were unanimous in the decision.

Ronnie Ellis, who writes for CNHI News Service, contributed to parts of this story.