His figures show Burlington has lowest cost to taxpayers among local districts
By Jennifer Eisenbart
Burlington Area School District School Board of Education member Larry Anderson ran for the board three years ago saying he wanted to help the district in a time of financial turmoil.
Now, Anderson said he has information that his opponents for his spot on the School Board don’t have – or are misreporting.
“If they get something, let them show it to me,” Anderson said last week. “I don’t believe them.”
Anderson distributed information he compiled showing that BASD’s cost of insurance is lower than two other districts adjacent districts and a state health insurance plan offered in the county during the Jan. 14 board meeting.
The numbers compared costs for Burlington, Waterford, Union Grove Union High School and those taking the state plan in Racine County.
It was the second such handout in the last few months. Late last year, Anderson researched the insurance costs statewide in an effort to show how low the cost is for BASD compared to other districts.
Opponents have said they don’t necessarily trust Anderson’s numbers, and he came up with the second handout this past week.
“I’m just trying to get the facts out there,” Anderson said. “They’re (opponents such as WeVote Burlington) putting their view of the situation out there without any backup.”
Anderson compared the single rate and family plan rate for Burlington’s high-deductible plan and its second plan (in which employees pay a portion of the premium), along with Waterford’s costs (both at the high school and graded school level), Union Grove and the state plan.
Anderson said he called each of the districts to compile the information.
In each case, the cost to BASD for either plan is $5,771 for a single plan and $16,158 for a family plan. In the high-deductible plan, employees do not pay a portion of the premium, but for the lower deductible/co-pay plan, they pay $726 for the single plan and $2,034 for the family plan bringing the total cost to $6,497 for the single plan and $18,192 for the family plan.
The cost for the Waterford K-8 district for the two plans was the next lowest, at $7,313 for a single plan (employees paying $1,291) and $16,708 for a family plan (employee cost: $2,948).
The next least costly single plan was the Racine County state plan ($7,705, with employees paying $1,020), followed by Waterford Union High School district ($7,761 district cost, $675 employee cost) and then Union Grove Union High School ($8,355, no employee contribution).
For family plans, the next lowest was WUHS ($17,785 employer cost, $1,547 employee cost), then UGUHS ($18,552 employer cost, no employee contribution) and the state plan ($19,681 employer cost, $2,532 employee contribution).
According to research done by Anderson on area tax rates, Burlington’s equalized tax rate of $10.83 per $1,000 is second lowest in the immediate area, behind only Delavan ($10.05).
Higher than Burlington, amongst others, were Union Grove ($12.20 per $1,000) and Waterford ($12.43 per $1,000).
While Anderson said he believes the board is providing health insurance for employees at a good value to taxpayers, board member Roger Koldeway has said he believes teachers and other staff members should be required to pay a portion of their premiums out of fairness to the private sector employees who are typically required to share the cost of premiums with their employers.