Property Maintenance and Control; Governing Board duties
(a) The governing board of any school district, by resolution, may establish a fund or funds for losses, and payments, including, but not limited to, health and welfare benefits for its employees as defined by Section 53200 of the Government Code, school district property, any liability, and workers' compensation, in the county treasury for the purpose of covering the deductible amount under deductible types of insurance policies, losses or payments arising from self-insurance programs, or losses or payments due to noninsured perils. In the fund or funds shall be placed those sums, to be provided in the budget of the school district, that will create an amount that, together with investments made from the fund or funds, will be sufficient in the judgment of the governing board to protect the school district from those losses or to provide for payments on the deductible amount under deductible types of insurance policies, losses or payments arising from self-insurance programs, or losses or payments due to noninsured perils. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the governing board from providing protection against those losses or liability for the payment of claims partly by means of the fund or funds and partly by means of insurance written by acceptable insurers as provided in Section 17565.
The fund or funds shall be considered as separate and apart from all other funds of the school district, and the balance therein shall not be considered to be part of the working cash of the school district in compiling annual budgets.
Warrants may be drawn on or transfers made from the fund or funds so created only to reimburse or indemnify the school district for losses as herein specified, and for the payment of claims, administrative costs, and related services, and to provide for deductible insurance amounts and purchase of excess insurance. The warrants or transfers shall be within the purpose of the fund or funds as established by resolution of the governing board.
The cash placed in the fund or funds may be invested and reinvested by the county treasurer, with the advice and consent of the governing board of the school district, in securities that are legal investments for surplus county funds in this state. The income derived from the investments, together with interest earned on uninvested funds, shall be considered revenue of, and be deposited in, the fund. The cost of contracts or services authorized by this section are appropriate charges against the respective fund.
The governing board may contract for investigative, administrative, and claims adjustment services relating to claims. The contract may provide that the contracting firm may reject, settle, compromise, and approve claims against the district, or its officers or employees, within the limits and for amounts that the governing board may specify, and may provide that the contracting firm may execute and issue checks in payment of those claims, which checks shall be payable only from a trust account that may be established by the governing board. Funds in the trust account established by the board pursuant to this section shall not exceed a sum that is sufficient, as determined by the governing board to provide for the settlement of claims for a 30-day period. The rejection or settlement and approval of a claim by the contracting firm in accordance with the terms of the contract shall have the same effect as would the rejection or settlement and approval of the claim by the governing board.
The contract may also provide that the contracting firm may employ legal counsel, subject to terms and limitations that the board may prescribe, to advise the contracting firm concerning the legality and advisability of rejecting, settling, compromising, and paying claims referred to the contracting firm by the board for investigation and adjustment, or to represent the board in litigation concerning the claims. The compensation and expenses of the attorney for services rendered to the board shall be an appropriate charge against the appropriate fund.
The contract provided for in this section may contain other terms and conditions that the governing board may consider necessary or desirable to effectuate the board's self-insured programs.
In lieu of, or in addition to, contracting for the services described in this section, the governing board may authorize an employee or employees to perform any or all of the services and functions for which the board may contract under the provisions of this section.
(b) As used in this section:
(1) "Firm" includes a person, corporation, or other legal entity, including a county superintendent of schools.
(2) "Governing boards" includes governing boards of school districts and county superintendents of schools.
(3) "School district" includes a county superintendent of schools who may participate in or administer insurance or self-insurance programs for the county office of education or for one or more school districts.
(c) A county superintendent of schools may participate in or administer insurance for one or more school districts pursuant to this section or for one or more community college districts pursuant to Section 81602, for any combination of school districts and community college districts pursuant to this section and Section 81602.
(d) Prior to funding health and welfare benefits pursuant to this section, the school district shall secure the services of an actuary who is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries to provide actuarial evaluations of the future annual costs of those benefits. The future annual costs as determined by the actuary shall be made public at a public meeting at least two weeks prior to the commencement of funding health and welfare benefits pursuant to this section.
(e) Upon commencing the funding of health and welfare benefits pursuant to this section, the school district shall secure the services of an actuary as described in subdivision (d) to complete, every three years, an actuarial evaluation of the annual costs of those benefits. A copy of the results of that evaluation shall be submitted by the district to the county superintendent of schools.
(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 277, Sec. 3. Operative January 1, 1998.)
Education Code 17565