Community Questions 2014

November 2014:
How much did BASD budget for Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA) services in 2014-2015? $13,000

What services does BASD receive from PSBA currently? PSBA provides information, updates on legislative action and numerous training opportunities for BASD. Additional information regarding PSBA services can be found at

October 2014:
What is the General Obligation Bonds interest rate? The interest rate is contingent on market conditions on the date the interest rate is locked.

How does the one million dollars impact our PSERS liability? The additional one million in PSERS reserve will reduce the tax impact to our taxpayers.

How will the one million dollars in debt service impact the Emmaus Bond Pool borrowing? The one million dollars will provide security should the variable rate interest rate increase dramatically and need to be converted to a fixed interest rate.

Is air conditioning still a part of the capital projects? All options for improving the conditions in our schools are still being considered.

Do we have a surplus projection for 2014-2015? As of October 28th, we do not have a surplus projection.

Did Banyan provide an estimate on the impact of the Affordable Care Act? The Affordable Care Act is a far-reaching and confusing law. As the law is being implemented through the phase-in approach over several years, most employers are still trying to understand the implications to their employees, their health plans, and their budgets. Banyan has assisted the Boyertown Area School District in understanding the law and its effect on the District and has kept the District in compliance with the new parts of the law as they are implemented. Many meetings have been held to understand what the District will be required to do as July 1, 2015, when the law requires employers to cover employees working an average of 30 hours per week with an affordable health care plan or possibly face penalties. No one can accurately project the final cost to the District, but through the assistance of Banyan consulting the District has a better understanding of what the costs may be in 2015-2016.
Where is the 200,000 and 400,000 shown in the reserve? The $200,000 and $400,000 as referred to in this question represent the 1/10 mill increase in the 2013-2014 budget and the cumulative effect of an additional 1/10 mill increase in the 2014-15 budget. There is no way to show these amounts in the reserve other than to review the expenditure line item (Account 912, Principal Debt Payment) in last year’s budget and the 14-15 budget. The District will be faced with two years of higher debt service in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 budgets that will require the use of these additional funds. These amounts are reflected in the estimated debt service schedules as presented in the PFM presentations at several Finance Committee meetings.

Why is the percent established for the borrowing of the variable rate bond set at 3.5%? The 3.5% was established to address the average percentage rate fluctuation over a 15 year period. This recommendation was established by our financial advisor and could be subject to change depending on the market. Please refer to page 3 of the PFM presentation from the October 21, 2014 Finance committee meeting.

Are there costs associated with the Berks Tax Colllection/Berks EIT Merger? This is a cost savings to the district of $2,000 annually.

What is the status of the Bradbury settlement money? The net amount of the Bradbury litigation after associated legal fees was deposited into the debt service and will be used to mitigate the bond borrowing impact to taxpayers.

In Exhibit #1 there is a projection on the general fund balance for 2013-2014, is there a projection for 2014-2015? Fiscal year 2014-2015 started on
July 1, 2014. We are four months into the 2014-2015 budget. The Board of Directors will be provided with a fully accrued projection in April to assist in guiding their budget decisions for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

What contributed to the estimated 15% increase in health costs? Banyan will be providing a detailed presentation on the estimated health care coverage cost increases at our December Personnel Committee meeting.

What services does Banyan perform for the fee we pay them?

The Services provided by Banyan Consulting are applicable to the Benefits Programs set forth below:

  • Medical
  • Prescription drug
  • Stop Loss
  • Dental
  • Vision
The following services are currently provided by Banyan:
Plan Performance Analysis

  • Maintain historical medical, Rx, stop loss, dental and vision claims data
  • Perform 12-36 month retrospective analyses
  • Perform year-to-date analyses
  • Perform monthly, quarterly and annual claims reporting
  • Conduct annual, comprehensive claims reviews
  • Prepare annual renewal forecasts
  • Prepare ad-hoc reporting as required (additional fees may apply)
Plan Consultation, Design Strategy and Vendor Evaluation
  • Minimum 1 time per year
  • Identify, evaluate and recommend plan administration and management vendors
  • Develop analyses and recommendations pertaining to
  • Employee and spousal contribution strategies
  • Plan design changes
  • Wellness initiatives
  • Plan designs and covered services (annually)
  • Plan costs (quarterly)
  • Employee contributions (annually)
  • Provider fees discounts (quarterly)
  • Administrative costs (annually)
  • Comparisons by organization size, industry, geography
Renewal/ Negotiations
  • Planning and preparation
  • Face to face with vendor
  • 1 or 2 times per vendor in a three year period
  • Plan design change financial modeling
Audit/ Compliance
  • Health Care Reform education and compliance
  • Legislative and Regulatory compliance
  • Governmental Filing
  • Preparation of Annual Form 5500 filings and Summary Annual Reports
  • Quality Manager Services
  • Objectively measure the quality of care and wellness
  • Determine which patients are receiving appropriate care and those that are at risk
  • Assist third party vendors in delivering targeted messages to non-compliant members
  • Develop prospective patient lists for case management
  • Initiate actionable dialogue with health care providers and care management vendors
Voluntary Benefits
  • Assist in the development of a Voluntary Benefit program offering that meets Boyertown’s stated objectives
  • Manage the vendor selection process
  • Monitor ongoing experience and customer service levels
  • Resolve administrative issues as appropriate

September 2014:

Did the District issue letters to proceed to the State on the PlanCon projects? The district sent three letters to the Pennsylvania Department of Education communicating that the projects identified by the board were still being considered as future projects.
What is the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Boyertown Area District in 2017-2018? We do not have enough information from the Federal Government on the Affordable Care Act impact to the Boyertown Area School District to identify a dollar impact.

What was the 12th Day Enrollment? The 12th day enrollment for the Boyertown Area School District was 7,021.
What portion of health insurance premiums do central administrators contribute? All Boyertown Area School District administrators contribute 15% of the health insurance premium for the years 2014-15 through 2017-18.

Do we have an approved architect of record for the PlanCon projects submitted by the District? The architect of record for projects submitted to PDE for Colebrookdale, Junior High West, and TBD Elementary is EI Associates. The architect of record for BASH is KCBA. "Please note that the answer to this question was updated after an inaccuracy was brought to the attention of the District Administration, the information stated above is the accurate information."
What is the timeline requirement for updating the demographic study and does it go by the year or the month? The timeline for updating the demographic study is within two years of the bid date.

What type of fire alarms are included in the high school renovation project? The fire-alarms included in the BASH project meet the Pennsylvania Code and are those recommended by the Fire Marshall.

The list of alternates for the high school renovation project increased from 18-25, is there a reason? Regular meetings between the District, architect, and construction manager allow for ongoing discussion on the ability to bid alternates which can enhance the quality of the project. The District is working with a limited budget, therefore, bidding items as alternates will allow for Board flexibility when making a final decision on the complete project.

What is the cost for the last five years of tax increases? Please refer to the comprehensive annual financial report located on the Boyertown Area School District website at:

What are the high school renovation costs to date for both D’Huy and KCBA? As of September 17, 2014, the amount of expenses paid for the project total $2,877,290.

Where is the money coming from to pay KCBA and D’Huy since we have not borrowed any money to date? The money is coming from the capital projects reserve fund.

The changes in the Food Service Equipment changed? Is there a reason? The change in this amount is due to the refrigerant requirements for the new equipment.

What factors drive down bond ratings? The information on the Boyertown Area School District’s AA bond rating can be found in the report completed by Standard and Poor’s Rating Services. Click here for the report.

June 2014:

What are class sizes at our elementary schools? Please click here for average class size information for BASD elementary schools.

May 2014:

How many students are currently in a cyber program? 29 in the BASD cyber program and 142 in outside cyber programs

Are we using PSERS funds? Yes

Don't we already have an architect on record for JHW (Jay Clough) because we needed one to submit something for PlanCon? Yes, the architect of record for the JHW project is EI Associates. The Boyertown Area School District does not have a contract with KCBA for architectural services for JHW. KCBA is the architect of record for the Boyertown Area Senior High School renovation/addition project.

Is BASH $63M or $61M and does that number include the Monroe Street extension? The total project cost is $61 million including the contingency

Commented on health insurance increases up from 4% to 6% to 10% now back down to 7%. Asked if we are continuing health initiatives? Yes and this cost is neutral with $25,000 from Capital Blue Cross

August, 2014:

What are the locations of the Learning Forward trainings? The location of the Learning Forward trainings include Chicago, Nashville, Toronto, Washington D.C. and Vancouver.

What is the status of the Pennsylvania Department of Education waiver at Junior High West? This will be discussed at our facilities meeting on September 16, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at Junior High West in the Cafeteria.