Board Members Drop Insurance to Buy Library


I Almost started to cry after reading This One from the Fresnobee. In Fresno County, CA school board members have done \"a very noble thing.\" They voluntarily dropped the health insurance they got as a benefit and pumped it into a new school library. These folks deserve a medal. What has your shool board done for you lately?

\"\"We all knew there was a need,\" says board president Lupe Zuniga. \"We couldn\'t figure out why no one ever figured this out before.\"
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James Morante, spokesman for the California School Boards Association, says it\'s common for school districts to pay for the health insurance of their elected officials.

But giving it up? Daniel R. Safreno, superintendent/principal in Raisin City, calls the board\'s action a year ago \"a very noble thing to do.\" Especially since the district offers such good insurance.

In fact, the school\'s insurance -- medical, dental, vision and prescriptions for board members and their families -- covers more costs than some of the board members\' private insurance.

So be it, says board member Manuel Jurado. He\'s glad the school board decided to put the money into the library. \"It was from the heart,\" says Jurado, who works as a calf feeder on a ranch near Raisin City. He has four daughters -- Marisela, Sophia, Yvette and Vivian. Jurado still reads at night to the youngest, 11-year-old Vivian. And she reads back to him.

Kathy Martin and Vangie Urias, two other board members, also had better coverage with the school\'s insurance. But they have no regrets, either.

One other nice thing about the board members\' action: They never crowed about it. \"I didn\'t know it was such a big deal,\" says Silvia Jurado-Ortiz. With help from community activist Ben Benavidez, Jurado-Ortiz and other board members also set up an educational foundation to benefit the library and other school projects.

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