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Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Letter: Schools health fund now has surplus

Published 10:32 am, Friday, April 25, 2014
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Late last year, we announced a projected cash deficit in the fund that covers health care for our employees. Now, we're writing with the good news that the projected deficit has turned into a surplus.

One of the primary drivers of the projected deficit was an unusually high number of claims among our employees. A reverse of that trend in recent months -- much lower than expected claims -- has now created the projected surplus.

This is very good news for many reasons. Nonetheless, we plan to take a number of steps to ensure that we do not face a possible deficit again. They include:

Working with the Board of Finance to ensure that there are adequate reserves;

Reviewing monthly health and medical insurance reports with the director of school business operations;

Enhancing the formatting and transparency of the public reporting to the Board of Education and to other parts of town government;

Working with the town to hire jointly a new insurance consultant; and

Conducting a more detailed annual audit of our health reserve fund.

The Board of Education has a great collaborative history among its members, with the school administration and with other parts of Westport government. We appreciate how positive and constructive everyone has been as we have worked through this together.

Westport Board of Education

Elaine Whitney, chairman