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Clarence School Board approves Citizens’ Advisory Task Force

After receiving another gift from the Clarence Schools Enrichment Foundation on Monday, the Clarence Central School District Board of Education continued its regular meeting, discussing many topics, including the self-funded health insurance program and the newly formed Citizens’ Advisory Task Force.

Clarence Central School District Director of Personnel John Ptak did a presentation at the meeting on the self-funded health insurance program. During his presentation, he gave a history and status of the program and followed it with questions from the board.

Michael Lex, school board president, mentioned the upcoming budget process for the 2014 to 2015 school year. He said during last year’s difficult process, it was questioned as to why employee contributions couldn’t be raised to help save money in the budget.

Ptak responded that this would be difficult to do but that there are other options that could be attainable in the future.

According to Ptak, given that Western New York has the highest rates in cardiac disease and cancer in the state and is among the highest in the country, it is difficult to predict whether employees will be in need of more medical attention than in previous years. He said this all comes into play when figuring the costs of the program.

The self-funded health insurance program in the district currently has enrolled 528 people, as of Nov. 1.

During the meeting, the board also approved the Citizens’ Advisory Task Force, which then held its first meeting on Tuesday.

This board was gathered together with 14 members to consider “two big issues at hand,” according to Clarence Schools Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks.

The task force will be monitoring enrollment trends and capital improvement.

“We’re going to take a look at all the data, which includes enrollment studies, building condition surveys, and anything we think is important,” added Hicks.

He said that after checking these things throughout the next five years, they will “see whether or not a trend of enrollment will necessitate any type of consolidation, any type of change or any type of closing of buildings.”

The board members for this task force are Jim Powers, Scott Bylewski, Jim Callahan, Jim Dentinger, Vic Martucci, Melissa Boglioli, Mark Layer, Barry Chubb, Tom Burns, Elizabeth Dunne, Keith Parwulski, Mike Fuchs, Rick Mancuso and Geoffrey Hicks.

“I think it’s really a good cross section of committee members, business people, PTOs, the foundation and I really look forward to it,” said Hicks.

The Citizens’ Advisory Task Force will meet monthly, posting information online for the public to see. Meetings will not be open to the public but a presentation and recommendations will be made to the board during the budget process.

For more information regarding the meeting and task force, visit www.clarenceschools.org.


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