Harlan County School Board expects rising insurance costs

Published 5:50 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

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The Harlan County Schools Board of Education met recently to discuss topics including insurance costs, ACT scores, and a recently approved weapons detection system.

Board Chairman Gary Farmer called the meeting to order and then called on Superintendent Brent Roark to update the board on issues around the district.

Roark began with information about insurance costs.

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“A significant increase is coming across the board, across the nation and across the state, and it’s going to hit us too,” Roark said. “That’s not just liability, it’s property too. We’re looking at a 30 percent plus increase on that. We’re currently paying for property, liability, and automotive for just a little over $500,000. So, expect 30 percent on that.”

Roark also talked about some recent test scores.

“A couple of positive developments, I want to brag about the high school,” Roark said. “ACT scores are back. We don’t have the official score, but we can figure our score. Our composite is up 1.3 points, which is outstanding…our CTD scores are back, and those are up significantly. Those both contribute to our overall accountability scores, so we know that is a move in the right direction.”

Roark mentioned the board’s recent approval of a weapons detection system will be evident sooner than expected.

“The weapons detection system you all approved at the last meeting, we weren’t expecting it until the last week of school,” Roark said. “We’re going to have it on May 1. We’re going to get it up and running right off the bat.”

Roark pointed out the board approved the purchase of four weapons detection devices, three of which will arrive May 1. The system is expected to be in operation by the second week of May.

“The handrails at JACES (James A Cawood Elementary School) our liability carrier had us put in…they look great,” Roark said. “They didn’t affect the view or anything and they make the gym a whole lot safer.”

In other board activity:

  • The board granted permission to proceed with any and all steps required by the Kentucky Department of Education for the purchase of property at Rosspoint;
  • The board approved a BG-1 for the purchase of property at Rosspoint.