HESPERIA Monday night, Hesperia Unified board members will take up the issue of their free medical benefits.


School board members currently pay nothing for medical benefits comparable to district management's health plans, which range in value from $481 to $905 a month.


California Government Code says that elected officials can receive health benefits no better than any received by non-safety employees. HUSD managers' plan is arguably only the second-best medical plan offered by the largest employer in the Victor Valley, after the teachers' medical plan, but the price could make it the top dog.


When contacted about the issue in September, school board president Chris Bentley said he would "gladly" pay the monthly premium if the free health plans were improper under state law.


The district's former law firm, Riverside-based Wagner & Pelayes, previously signed off on the free medical plan for board members, said Superintendent Mark McKinney.


The issue will be discussed during the next regular meeting of the HUSD school board starting at 6 p.m. Monday in the HUSD Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main St.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com.