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Monday, September 12, 2011 - 9:59am

Schools Fill Healthcare Hole

School systems are finding ways to fill a health care insurance hole. They found out about it after they’d completed their budgets for the year.

John Zonner with the Georgia Schools Superintendent Association says schools were shocked at last month's news of an increase to bus drivers and lunchroom workers' health insurance. They’d already finished their budgets and set their property tax rates.

"So they pretty much had everything settled including setting their millage rates so there’s really nothing they can do from a revenue standpoint to make a change once they get a notice in August to meet a new request for an increase."

Zonner says some schools might have to borrow the money from the bank, others may add a teacher furlough day.

For Fayette County schools south of Atlanta, the system is dipping into reserves to come up with the half million dollar increase.

The state Department of Education says the rise totals over $80 million, and next year’s projection is a $120 million increase.