The Monroe County School Board will take up the issue of a health plan claims audit when it meets Tuesday evening in Marathon.
In pursuing the audit, the board will be attempting to recoup funds that may have been awarded mistakenly or excessively to claimants.
"The importance of conducting the first health plan claims audit we've ever done is first of all, that we should have done lots of them in the past, and failed to do so, despite my personally raising this issue many times," said District 3 board member Ed Davidson. "The reason it's important is because all the insurance people I've ever talked to have insisted such audits always get money back. Money that, after all, belongs in the classroom. Invariably, overcompensation has occurred.
Davidson added that getting the idea on the agenda is a project he's been working on for some time now. The audit made its way to Tuesday's agenda, due to a recommendation made by the district's Audit and Finance Committee.
"After my repeated prodding, supported by recommendations by the Audit and Finance Committee, the administration's original proposal was to look at only the single year of 2012," Davidson said. "Because we have never audited any previous years, I was concerned that we should start further back, and indeed, when the administration checked, they discovered that we could only reach back to 2011, and then, only if we did it now. So, if they had proceeded only with 2012, by the time that was done, it would have been too late to reach back to 2011."
It's not clear how much money the board expects to recover by way of the audit.
District 1 member Robin Smith-Martin said this week that he also supports the audit.
"A health plan claims audit is long overdue," he said. "Chairman McVeigh and the Audit and Finance Committee deserve recognition for bringing it to fruition."
But Superintendent of Schools Mark Porter on Friday played down the importance of the audit.
"The health claims audit represents a minor change based on previous discussions with the board," Porter said. "We will still conduct a one year audit, but it will be for the 2011 claims year, not 2012 as previously presented. This effort, conducting a health claims audit, was recommended by the Audit and Finance Committee."
Also on Tuesday, the board will approve the district's annual financial report, and the Master In-Service teacher training plan.
A change order, relating to the construction of the Horace O'Bryant School is also on the agenda.