School Board Accepts Big Rebate on Health Premiums

October 17, 2014
by Barbara O’Brien

Windham School Board members have unanimously (5 to 0) accepted a $538,637 rebate on health insurance premiums that the school district paid to the Local Government Center this past school year.  During the October 7 public hearing on the issue, Superintendent Winfried Feneberg said that the rebate was unanticipated.

The LGC was court-ordered last year to return excess health premiums collected from towns and school districts across New Hampshire.  Additional funds were returned to both the town side of government and the Windham School District last year.

Windham School Board Member Ken Eyring questioned whether or not a public hearing was required for the school district to accept the rebate.  Eyring wondered whether accepting the rebate during a public hearing would allow school administrators to expend the unanticipated funds without further action from the school board, rather than return the money to taxpayers at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, which ends on June 30, 2015.

Feneberg explained that the public hearing was only for the purpose of accepting the rebate and that no other action could be taken without further action from the school board.  If no other action is taken on the matter, the money would be used to offset the 2015 Tax Rate.  “We can’t spend the money without further action from the majority of the board,” Feneberg said.

Chairman Jerome Rekart added, “These funds are not ear-marked for anything.”

Voting in favor of accepting the more than half-a-million-dollar rebate were Jerome Rekart, Dennis Senibaldi, Michael Joanis, Ken Eyring and Rob Breton.  There was no input from the public during the hearing.