Some Kentucky school districts have started getting bills over the past couple of weeks to help offset insurance claims against the failed Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust.
The trust announced last year that it would disband due to financial woes and school districts would have to pay off outstanding claims of about $60 million. The trust offered insurance for workers’ compensation, property and liability claims.
Johnna DeJarnett, assistant superintendent for McCracken County Public Schools, told The Paducah Sun that the district has received a bill for $122,032 for worker’s comp. Paducah Independent Schools got a bill for $210,834. Neither knows how much it will need to pay for property and liability claims.
Paducah Superintendent Donald Shively said the bill, on top of a state-mandated pay raise for employees, has the district tightening its belt.
He said the district should be able to absorb the bill, but it is possible that residents could see a tax increase.
“The KSBIT assessment and the annual state-mandated 1 and 2 percent pay raises, as well as our contributions to state retirement, all go into the decisions our board makes in regards to the local tax levies. If there’s an adjustment in the local tax levy, I just hope our community understands what’s going on economically for our schools at this time,” Shively said.
Carlisle County Schools Superintendent Jay Simmons said it won’t be easy to deal with and could lead to job cuts.
“Especially for a small district, it’s really tough,” he said. “We had worst case and best case (estimates), but the numbers were closer to worse case but not as bad.”
Carlisle County owes nearly $300,000 for workers’ compensation, property and liability claims.
Districts are being asked to pay 25 percent of the workers’ compensation claims by Aug. 31. The rest is to be paid in annual payments over six years.
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