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Schools to consider self-insurance for Worker’s Compensation

With the economic crisis Americans are facing, our educational institutions might start self insuring in efforts to save money. Very risky, but high reward as well..

Portage Township Schools will consider moving to self-insurance involving worker’s compensation claims in an effort to save the district money.

Director of Finance Sharon Qualkinbush told the board Monday night the district is in the most expensive tier of insurance rates due to its loss history and could end up in a state pool for worker’s compensation insurance.

Qualkinbush said the district now pays $694,000 a year in premiums and are looking to get that cost down. Self-insurance could be a way to lower the cost.

It would cost about $99,000 a year in premiums for management of the self-insurance plus the claims themselves, she said. A part of the program would also look at lost control education for all employees.

Member Glenda Owens suggested the district seek bids for management firms. The rest of the board agreed.

Qualkinbush said the goal is to save the district between $300,000 to $400,000 per year with a new program.

In other business, the board agreed to look into concerns of parent Michelle Grimes. Grimes said her daughter, a freshman at Portage High School, must walk to the school each day because they live in Port Crossing apartments. Grimes told members there are no signs or warnings for drivers that students will be crossing Airport Road. Grimes asked the board to do something to improve safety of students crossing Airport Road.

Several students and others were recognized at the meeting held at Crisman Elementary School.

PHS senior Abigail Clark was recognized for being named a National Merit Semi Finalist; PHS students Eleanor Bloom, Alex Mischke and Kyle Timmerman were recognized as commended National Merit Scholarship students; PHS student Dawn Williams and former School Board member Martha Willis were recognized for receiving Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council awards and PHS biology teacher Stephanie Crook was recognized for her participation in the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education program.

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