In an uncertain time when the state retirement crisis and concerns over state funding of public education looms over local schools, it’s not often the Mercer County Board of Education gets a lot of good news.
But that’s just what they got at last week’s meeting. They learned the district was getting refunded some of the funds they were forced to pay out when the Kentucky School Board Insurance Trust (KSBIT) collapsed and they learned Mercer Day Treatment received a clean audit.
KSBIT was created to provide low-cost insurance to school boards in 1978. In 2014, the Kentucky Department of Insurance took over KSBIT, working to eliminate the deficit by assessing participants with their share.
Greg Souder of Whitenack and Souder Inc. said schools are getting back $5-million in assessments taken to cover the deficit in workmen’s compensation. Mercer’s share is $44,132, and because Mercer merged with Harrodsburg High School, the district will get another $5,517 said Souder, who presented the board with the checks.
Refunds from property and liability insurance have not been completed, he said.
Souder had even more good news. Due to Mercer’s safety procedures, he said the district is in the top 15-percent for schools across the state, which saves the district another $30,000.
“Things today are really, really good,” said Souder.
Then it was Jaziel Guerra’s turn.
Guerra is the principal at Mercer Day Treatment, which has just completed their yearly audits performed by the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Kentucky Educational Collaborative For State Agency Children.
“I’ve got a lot of good news to share,” Guerra said.
In the Department of Juvenile Justice audit, Day Treatment received 301 of 303 points. In the second audit, Day Treatment received a 100 percent score for attendance and recorded across the board improvements for reading, with some students recording double digit increases.
“We’ve got some proof on paper that things are going pretty well,” said Guerra, who praised his staff for their efforts.
The next meeting of the Mercer County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, April 18, at 5:30 p.m. at the Harlow Education Center.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.