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UPDATE: Audit will look at APS's problematic health-care switch

'It is critical to ensure independence' are marching orders from School Board
Members of the 2023 Arlington School Board.

As they work to reverse-engineer what went wrong with, and how not to repeat, the calamitous rollout of health-care revisions for staff and some retirees, School Board members have authorized an independent audit of the process going back to the beginning.

“Many employees and retirees are not pleased with the changes, and are questioning the integrity of senior APS officials in relation to the changes and disclosure of such changes,” the school system acknowledged in the audit plan.

School Board members in September approved auditor Alice Blount-Fenney’s work plan for the current school year. On Oct. 12, they added the review of health care to the list, with several directives included.

“It is critical to ensure independence,” the audit plan’s introduction notes. To that end, progress updates and a final report go directly to the School Board, and any staff involved in the development and execution of the health-care changes were directed to recuse themselves from involvement except to provide requested information.

Kaiser Permanente has held the health-care franchise with the county school system since the 1980s, but for reasons that now appear increasingly murky was not selected as the contractor for the coming year – CareFirst won the contract.