East Grand School Board opts out of state employee leave plan | SkyHiNews.com

East Grand School Board opts out of state employee leave plan

The East Grand School District's office in Granby sits under a blue sky in September, 2022.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

The East Grand School Board followed the example of Granby and Grand Lake by opting out of Colorado’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance program for district employees at their meeting Tuesday night.

The state program looks to give Colorado workers access to paid leave for familial or medical issues. Government entities have the ability to opt out of the plan, which means the employer does not have to pay premiums for their employees, but employees can still choose to participate individually.

East Grand Superintendent Brad Ray said other districts that are similar in size to East Grand have declined participation as well. Board President Ed Raegner mentioned the burdensome paperwork associated with the program as one of the drawbacks of participation.

“If we were a district of 30,000 people — 30,000 students — it might be different in terms of being able to manage to do what we have to do,” Ray said. “I think you’re looking at most small governmental agencies that are taking that option.”

The board members voted unanimously to fully opt out of the program. The state will require the district to revisit their participation status every eight years.

Other business

  • The board approved the Sept. 20 minutes and accepted the resignation of Brandon Biederman, a paraprofessional at Middle Park High School.
  • Ray gave the final reading of potential new policies, and the board voted to give final approval to the policies. There were no changes between the second and third readings.
  • The board discussed potentially endorsing ballot measure 6A, which would establish funding for the Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership. Board Treasurer Chris Raines opposed voting on the endorsement at the meeting because he had not had time to review the measure, so the board agreed to bring it back at a later meeting.
  • Chris Eberhart from the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services gave an update about the services board to the school board, including information about increased state funding for special education that he said would help the district save money.
  • Ray gave an update on the district’s strategic planning proposal.
  • The board reviewed the language and obligations of the superintendent’s contract and discussed the district’s quarterly figures.
  • Raegner started a conversation with the board about a 1980 agreement that the district has with the Town of Fraser regarding the land Fraser’s town hall sits on and the land around it. The district used to own the land, and if the town sells any of it, ownership would revert to the district. Fraser wants the district to allow a sale of some land to the Grand Kids preschool without taking back ownership.
  • In his report, Ray spoke about an economic forecast put together by Tracie Rainey from the Colorado School Finance Project, changes to the state’s READ Act that will affect the district, the possibility of the district receiving state funding from the CARES Act and the simulated emergency exercise that multiple Grand County entities participated in Sept. 23.

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