What are your goals for your employee benefits package? Are you trying to compete with your local school district for teachers and students? Is your benefits package competitive? Are you using your benefits package to retain quality teachers? Please take a moment to think about these questions as it relates to your charter school.
I have been working with charter schools since 2003 providing employee benefits, insurance, and financial services solutions. During my time servicing the schools, I have met a lot of great leaders and dedicated individuals. These individuals have shown me the true meaning of public service. They are not the highest paid, but they are by far the most devoted. These charter school educators and leaders are the champions of education in this country.
These great leaders that are running our charter schools are focusing their time on the students, which is okay! After all, it’s what school is all about, educating our future leaders to the best of our abilities. But the business and human resources aspect of running a charter school is usually put on the back burner or not the primary focus. If you are a small charter school just starting out, you probably don’t have the resources to have a full-time Human Resources professional on staff. As long as you have a resource that can provide these services to you, you will be able to delegate HR functions to this person or entity and still be able to focus on providing a stellar education to your student population.
In my new blog, I am going to cover many aspects of employee benefits including some things you have never heard of before. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email, and I will get back to you promptly! As I dive into various topics, tell me what other topics you would like to learn about and feel free to give me suggestions.
Have you thought about the questions I asked you at the beginning of this post? Let’s take a closer look and I will give you some examples.
What are your goals for your employee benefits package?
Each charter school may have very different goals for their benefits package. Geographic location and hospital and provider availability may be a factor. The cost of benefits is typically an enormous dilemma to tackle. Your goals can change and evolve over the years. For a charter school just starting out, the goal may be just to offer some benefits to their staff. For a more established school, the goals could be to add a wellness program or to communicate the current benefits to the staff more efficiently. Whatever your goals may be, write them down and discuss with your consultants ways in which you can attain them.
Are you trying to compete with your local school district for teachers and students?
Maybe you have the best school around, and pupils and teachers are lining up to get in. But for most charter schools, that is simply not the case. Several years ago, there were hiring freezes and budgets were so slim that districts had to give unpaid furlough days. In 2016, that has all changed. The districts are hiring again, and there are not enough teachers to go around. So you need to make your charter school stand out. Why would a teacher want to work for your school instead of the district school down the street? Do you pay a higher salary? Do you offer benefits that the district does not offer? You better come up with your sales pitch and sell your school to that math or science teacher that you so desperately need!
Is your benefits package competitive?
Do you know how your benefits package compares to other charter schools in your area or your local school districts? Each year, Keenan & Associates conducts an Employee Benefits Survey for schools throughout the state of California. The survey provides your school with information on what specific benefits other organizations of the same type are purchasing. (For example: How many schools in this county offer a PPO?) It also identifies those insurance carriers most often utilized by other public entities. The Employee Benefits Survey is one tool that is available to your school to determine if your benefits are competitive.
Are you using your benefits package to retain quality teachers?
In Los Angeles, there is a teacher shortage. Time and time again you hear about teachers leaving charter schools to go work for LAUSD. One of the reasons is for the benefits package. LAUSD offers a very rich benefits package and covers the employees and dependents 100%. The LAUSD employees have no out of pocket costs and fairly low out of pocket when they are receiving medical services. On your exit interviews, are you asking teachers that are leaving about the benefits? If benefits were a reason for their departure, it’s time to take a closer look at your benefits package.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my blog regarding Employee Benefits and Human Resources for Charter Schools. I hope that this first entry has sparked some thought regarding the many aspects of benefits in the charter school system. I look forward to hearing from you with any comments, questions or concerns. I’m always excited to share my knowledge and ideas with every charter school across the nation!
If you have any questions or need any assistance with your employee benefits for your charter school, please contact me at (760) 622-6080 or using my Contact Form. You may also contact me through any of my social media accounts.