How can the West Ada School District make up its Budget Shortfall?

How can the West Ada School District make up its Budget Shortfall?


Part of the Answer lies in an open letter to the Board from Russ Joki

The Gem State Patriot received this very interesting letter to the West Ada School District (WASD) Board of Trustees. We decided it should be shared with all of our readers and we hope they will distribute it to all of their friends.

Even after resigning as a Trustee from the WASD board, Russ Joki is still trying to find ways to save the citizens of this district a lot of money. Problem is that no one on the Board appears to care about the fact that they could save $2 million taxpayer dollars from premium cost simply by joining the Idaho Self Insurance Trust.

Follow the Money: It is interesting to note that as part of the current employee insurance arrangement, the district pays a broker (Moreton and Company) about $9,000 a month for doing very little. The mid-year premium schedule was largely the doing of contracted insurance brokers. If the district joined the Self Insurance Trust, there would be no need for a broker, a savings of over $100,000. Other savings are derived from eliminating insurance fees, including the Obama Affordable Care Act fee. The bottom line: someone is benefiting from the current arrangement and it is NOT THE DISTRICT TAXPAYER. We have said many times that the takeover of this board was all about the Money. Here is an opportunity for the Board to prove us wrong.

The Letter Begins: Trustees and Superintendent Rannells — Please discuss the value of joining the Idaho Self Insurance Trust with your colleagues in the Nampa and Cassia County school districts. These two districts just joined the Trust to save money and continue to provide top quality insurance to their employees. They are among the nearly 70 districts to join.

Why are so many districts joining the Trust? What is the value of the savings? These are questions that are best answered by members of the Trust board of directors which includes former Idaho superintendent Jerry Evans. Mr. Evans and the Trust should be an agenda item at an upcoming public meeting. Last year, Mr. Evans told the district administration that the Trust could save WASD nearly $2 million dollars in premium cost while maintaining all levels of employee insurance coverage.

As you know, WASD is unique because it renews its policy in January. Every other Idaho district renews in the summer/fall as part of their budget planning process. This renewal date does not help the board and administration take into account possible premium increases that may hit the budget in mid-year. Why is our district the only one with this renewal date?

When I was on the board, I asked that question. The answer astounded me. You should ask for a complete report and explanation of its history.

Thank you for examining ways to save money and eliminate the “shortfall.”

Russ Joki


Click here to see the the Idaho Statewide Schools Program brochure.