Before the Hillsborough Board of Education can consider funding a wish list in its future budget, it faces a sobering fact: the projected rise of school district employee health care premiums alone totals more than the state-imposed limit on a spending increase.
The board's Human Resources Committee Chairman Christopher Pulsifer made the announcement at Monday night's board meeting, urging the public to be aware of the board's constraints.
"Our district spends approximately $15 million a year on health benefits for everybody -- teachers, staff, administration. That's the entire employee set of the district." he said.
"Right now, we’re looking at an 11 percent increase in our premium for next year. That's about $1.65 million. If you do the math on the 2 percent cap, based on our current revenues, that works out to approximately $1.6 million. So the healthcare premium increase alone will outstrip what the state allows, based on the 2 percent cap in our current budget."
Pulsifer predicted that board members will have differing opinions on how to approach the district spending plan, which still awaits state aid figures.
Oher items the HR Committee is considering:
- Five more special education positions, based on state code mandated teacher-pupil ratios.
- Potentially adding a Chinese language teacher for the expansion of the Chinese Language program, in accordance with the district's Strategic Plan. Chinese II has been added to the curriculum. The position will be either full or part-time, depending on enrollment.
- Potentially adding five new technology positions related to the large number of devices coming into the district, as called for under the district's Strategic Plan.