This letter is in response to Bob Ruhlman's letter to the editor published in the May 23 edition of ThisWeek Olentangy Valley News.

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to Bob Ruhlman's letter to the editor published in the May 23 edition of ThisWeek Olentangy Valley News.

In the published letter, Mr. Ruhlman challenges the Olentangy Local School District's assertion that negotiated changes to health insurance benefits are expected to result in savings of $11.1 million for fiscal year 2013 through FY2015 contract years. After a quick review of the facts and the district's most recent five-year forecast, I would argue that Mr. Ruhlman's challenge -- like much of his analysis and logic -- is flawed.

Here are the facts:

* Estimates for health insurance costs included in the district's forecast are jointly developed by the treasurer's office and the district's insurance consultant, AON Hewitt.

* October 2011 was the last published forecast before contract negotiations were complete and reflected $78.3 million in expected health insurance costs for FY2013 through FY2015.

* The district's collective bargaining agreements were finalized in May 2012 and included significant changes to the health insurance benefits.

* The most recent five-year forecast for the district reflects $65.0 million in expected health insurance costs for FY2013 through FY2015.

* Had the district not successfully negotiated changes to the benefits structure, health insurance costs were expected to be $13.3 million higher ($78.3 million minus $65 million) than they are currently forecast to be.

In closing, while Mr. Ruhlman would like you to believe that the district's claim of $11.1 million in expected savings was "irresponsible" and "propaganda," the facts would argue that we are on track to exceed those claimed savings by $2.2 million or 20 percent. I don't find that irresponsible at all.

Kevin G. O'Brien

president, Olentangy school board