Contents of this issue:
  • Lawton administrators change insurance, share in savings
  • Petoskey to continue savings with food service privatization
  • DPS overspending pegged at $408 million for 2009
  • MESSA costs go up 17.5 percent for Swan Valley

LAWTON ADMINISTRATORS CHANGE INSURANCE, SHARE IN SAVINGS
LAWTON, Mich. — Administrators in the Lawton Community Schools will share in the savings after agreeing to switch to a less expensive insurance, according to the Paw-Paw Courier-Leader.

The administrators agreed to switch from MESSA SuperCare I to Choices II, saving the district about $18,000. Half of that will be returned to the administrators, either in cash or an annuity, the Courier-Leader reported. The Michigan Education Special Services Association is a third-party administrator affiliated with the Michigan Education Association school employees union. MESSA outsources insurance underwriting to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and then resells the insurance to school districts.

Lawton administrators also will receive a 2 percent raise, according to the Courier-Leader.

SOURCE:
Lawton Courier Leader, "Lawton schools add full-day kindergarten," June 23, 2008
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19795322&BRD=2188&PAG=461& dept_id=414962&rfi=6

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, "MESSA targets Lawton schools for attaining claims data," April 29, 2008
http://www.educationreport.org/9424


PETOSKEY TO CONTINUE SAVINGS WITH FOOD SERVICE PRIVATIZATION
PETOSKEY, Mich. — Petoskey schools has extended its contract with Chartwells after saving $150,000 in its food service program, according to the Petoskey News-Review.

Chartwells, which had been overseeing the supervision of Petoskey's food service, took over operations last year as well, the News-Review reported.

SOURCE:
Petoskey News-Review, "Petoskey School Board votes to continue outsourcing food service," June 20, 2008
http://www.petoskeynews.com/articles/2008/06/20/news/doc485bb9006359e951733529.txt

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, "Petoskey schools contract for food service," Aug. 7, 2007
http://www.educationreport.org/8874


DPS OVERSPENDING PEGGED AT $408 MILLION FOR 2009
DETROIT — Detroit Public Schools could cut 1,400 staff members in an attempt to solve a $408 million overspending issue in the fiscal 2009 budget, according to The Detroit News.

DPS enrollment is expected to drop to about 98,300 students when classes resume in the fall, The News reported. That is down from 167,000 students in 1999-2000. The number of teachers during that time span has fallen from 8,600 to 6,300. About 800 teachers could be included in any staff reductions.

SOURCE:
The Detroit News, "Detroit schools' layoff target balloons to 1,400," June 21, 2008
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080619/SCHOOLS/ 806190352/1409/METRO

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, "DPS loses 12,000 students, $90 million in revenue," April 22, 2008
http://www.educationreport.org/9418


MESSA COSTS GO UP 17.5 PERCENT FOR SWAN VALLEY
SHIELDS, Mich. — Swan Valley schools is facing a $33,000 budget hole, thanks in part to a 17.5 percent increase in union insurance costs, according to The Saginaw News.

Swan Valley will pay MESSA about $190,000 more next year, The News reported.

The Michigan Education Special Services Association is a third-party administrator affiliated with the Michigan Education Association school employees union. MESSA outsources insurance underwriting to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and then resells the insurance to school districts.

"We were doing pretty good until we got hit with those skyrocketing health care costs, which threw our budget off $250,000," interim Superintendent Richard P. Dyer told the school board, according to The News.

SOURCE:
The Saginaw News, "Swan Valley schools face deficit of $33K+," June 21, 2008
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginawnews/index.ssf?/base/news-26/ 121402561298450.xml&coll=9

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "School Boards Empowered to Save Insurance Dollars," Dec. 3, 2007
http://www.mackinac.org/9148


MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report (http://www.educationreport.org), an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (http://www.mackinac.org), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.

Contact Managing Editor Sarah Grether at
mailto:med@educationreport.org

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