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School health coverage topic defeated

Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) board member Jay George, who represents the Keysville district, saw his motion to eliminate health insurance benefits for board members shot down in a 4 to 3 vote during its Tuesday, Sept. 8 meeting.

George made a motion to eliminate the policy provision that allows board members to participate in the group health insurance beginning with the next open enrollment period (effective: July 1, 2021). 

George, who had tried to entertain a motion months before, said he thinks it is not fair for board members to receive health coverage when other part-time employees are not eligible for coverage.

“I brought this up once before, but it did not make it to a vote,” George explained. “I have a problem with the fact that there are employees who spend more hours working for the school system than some of us on this board, and they do not get health insurance.”

George himself said he does not put in a full 35 to 40 hours a week when it comes to working on school issues, and he does not take the health care coverage.

According to CCPS School Board Clerk Dana Ramsey, there is only have one board member participating in the health insurance plan.

“The monthly cost is $410.00,” Ramsey said. “There is also an annual deposit of $2,500 in the health savings account.”

George says currently, only full-time employees of CCPS are entitled to health care coverage, leaving out those who work part-time such as bus drivers, cafeteria and custodial staff.

“When we return to school, these people will be some of our front-line workers, and I don’t think it is fair that part-time employees are going without coverage. We should lead by example,” he said.

Board members Robert Johnson and Teresa Dunaway voted with George to discontinue the insurance. Members Gloria Talbott, JonPaul Berkley, Angela Cook and Scotty Hamlett, voted no.