Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

January 16, 2013

Carter schools may avoid large insurance bill

Jan. 16, 2013 — With Kentucky’s 174 public school systems facing the repayment of about $60 million in past insurance claims, Carter Schools Supt. Ronnie Dotson says he is not as worried as some of his colleagues in other districts.

“I anticipate that our assessment will be considerably less than some others because we have only been in the insurance trust for two of the last 15 years,” he said.

Another positive factor for Carter County is that the district used a commercial carrier for its Workers Compensation coverage during that entire period.

Dotson said his district purchased general liability and fleet insurance from the Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust (KSBIT) last year and again this year.

The trust is going out of business on June 30, leaving all 174 school districts to cover the projected $60 million deficit representing

outstanding claims.

Dotson said the exact amount his district will have to pay won’t be determined for some time but he is hopeful that it will be affordable.

Some districts are expecting bills in excess of $1 million and are asking the state to issue 20-year bonds to cover the shortfall.

Dotson said all districts were aware of the problem but that it is of a much greater magnitude than anyone expected.

It is estimated that only about 70 districts are currently participating in KSBIT but all 174 have been involved at some point since the trust was created more than 20 years ago.

The Carter superintendent noted that the insurance payback comes at a bad time as district try to cope with state and federal funding cutbacks.

"Once we have a firm figure, we’ll do our best to come up with a reasonable way to pay it back,” Dotson said.

The decision to disband KSBIT was announced Monday in Lexington after local school leaders were informed in advance.

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