Gov. Deal’s plan would cut insurance benefits for some school system employees

A proposal by Governor Nathan Deal to cut health insurance benefits from school system employees across the state who work 30 hours or less is drawing heat from local school officials.
Grady County School Superintendent Lee M. Bailey said that if the budget is approved by the legislature as presented it would impact 25 of the 42 bus drivers in the local school system.
According to the superintendent, the annual cost to provide insurance for those 25 employees is $178,860.
Superintendent Bailey said he believes the measure will not pass as presented and he anticipates a compromise coming out of the legislature and the governor’s office.
In case there is no compromise, the superintendent said he and his team are evaluating options to address the proposed change.
“We depend on these people a great deal and they don’t get paid a whole lot of money. In fact, many of them only take the job to be able to get the insurance,” Superintendent Bailey said.
The school chief said the biggest issue facing the school system is maintaining a pool of quality bus drivers from which to draw.
According to Bailey, the school system is continuously seeking new bus drivers in order to have enough to cover all of the current routes.

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