(1/4/12) Federal funds are being withheld from Wisconsin school districts that dropped a health insurer connected with the state’s largest teachers union.
Now, the W-E-A Trust is asking a federal court to rule that its move is okay. The W-E-A Trust received 18-million-dollars from the government’s Early Retiree Re-insurance Program. It’s designed to off-set the costs of providing insurance for early retirees. School officials who’ve dropped the W-E-A Trust say the money belongs to all public districts – and at least 14 of them are reportedly considering lawsuits to get a share of that funding. The W-E-A Trust told school systems that the funds would be given out as premium credits – thus forcing them to stay on with the insurance firm to get the money. But many districts have opted for cheaper plans as a result of the state law which took away much of the teachers’ unions’ bargaining powers. One superintendent, Glenn Schilling of Hartland-Lakeside, said the district and its law firm will decide by Friday whether to proceed with a lawsuit.