Supports SCCS Levy

Board Votes on Retiree Life Insurance
Posted on 08/28/2018
Image of GavelAt its August 27, 2018 meeting, the Akron School Board discussed phasing out life insurance policies for some disabled retirees.

APS started offering disabled retirees term life insurance years ago in what was was to be a temporary program. It does not appear, according to APS Chief Financial Officer Ryan Pendleton, that this plan every had board approval when it was enacted more than three decades ago. Further, it was never part of a collective bargaining agreement with the district’s unions.

Board members discussed the burdensome nature of the program to the district and its employees.

The 140 retirees on the plan currently qualify for a benefit of 125 percent of what their salary was when they retired, up to $40,000.

Pendleton said the district currently pays $13,000 a month for the 140 retirees remaining on the policy — nearly just as much as it pays for its current 2,800 employees’ life insurance policies.

At last night's meeting, the board discussed in executive session the fact the program equals about $5 million in outstanding liability for the district, with more than half of policy holders entitled to the maximum $40,000 benefit.
The board voted to buy out the program, thus ending it, and provide each eligible retiree a buyout not in excess of $10,000. the cash amount will be equivalent to 25% of the current amount of the individual's insurance benefit.

Also at Monday's meeting, the board gave support for the proposed Summit County Children Services levy on the ballot for November.

Representatives from Summit County Children Services (SCCS) gave a presentation about the organization’s increased need for the levy as the region continues battling an opioid epidemic.

SCCS is asking for a 2.25-mill renewal levy with a 1-mill increase to support existing services and hope to provide additional ones. The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $35 per year.

SCCS has not had a levy increase in 30 years.

In the past 10 years, SCCS’s revenue has fallen by $60 million and staffing has decreased by 35 percent.
At the same time, the number of children in custody of SCCS has increased by 36 percent since 2012. Nearly one in every 12 children in Summit County are now served by the agency.

SCCS attributes the rise to the opioid epidemic, which has increased the number of children who are at-risk of being abused and neglected.

The board unanimously approved a resolution in support of the levy.

The board also voted during the meeting to accept several donations and grants to be distributed among various schools.

The largest grant will provide $7,500 for King elementary school. The grant was awarded by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation as acknowledgement of teacher Charlene Tabata, who teaches at King and was selected as the recipient of the 2018 Jennings Master Teacher Award.
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