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Wednesday, April 17, 2019



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School board discontinues its health insurance

School board discontinues its health insurance



The Lafourche Parish School Board voted Wednesday to do away with its members’ health insurance program.

In a unanimous vote, the board voted to discontinue participating in the group health and other related insurance programs for active non-retiree board members to save money.

The vote comes after the board voted to reduce its size from 15 to nine members and cut its members’ monthly compensation from $800 to $400 to save $72,000 a year.

Although the vote was unanimous, board member Cheryl Thomas expressed concerns about where the saved money would be going.

“The problem that I do have is we cut the board members, we cut the board pay and now we’re taking away the insurance,” Thomas said. “Nobody’s saying how much money we’re saving by doing this or what we’re doing with the money.”

Schools Superintendent Louis Voiron said the money would go back into the general fund, but calculating an exact amount would be difficult at this time due to the nature of the insurance plans.

Board member Barry Plaisance said the existing insurance policy wasn’t practical.

“We’re on the hook for the first $300,000,” he said. “It’s a liability issue and it’s a part-time job. We’re not full-time employees. I feel it’s the right thing to do at this moment.”

Board member Mary Breaud said the money the board spends on life insurance could also be used more efficiently.

“Although it’s just $8 a month for each board member, it’s $8 times 15, times 12 months, times four years,” she said. “It might be small but every drop in the bucket could help us hire another bus driver.”

Voiron said the vote will take effect after the policy is revised.

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at dan.copp@houmatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter@DanVCopp.