Schools get a choice, too
July 13, 2011
Last week we wrote about how the reality of Governor Scott Walker’s first state budget, would speak for itself, disposing of all the bogeymen trotted out by Walker opponents to taint his reform agenda.
Now another clue has emerged from a very different source, shining a bright light on what the struggle between Wisconsin taxpayers and government unions is all about.
It seems the insurance arm of WEAC, the statewide teachers’ union, has been forced to find some new flexibility in pricing its coverage, now that collective bargaining reforms have busted up its ability to dictate that school districts buy health insurance from “da union”.
But that doesn’t mean the WEA Insurance Trust isn’t’t still grasping and clawing for every penny it can get. And while we frequently have strong words for the mainstream media’s habit of overlooking stories that would embarrass the Left, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel deserves some credit for reporting how the Trust has grabbed a pile of federal taxpayer dollars that school districts say is rightfully theirs.
Oddly enough, it is not absolutely clear who has the strongest claim to this money. However that works out, what’s of paramount importance is that, freed from collective bargaining over health insurance coverage, school districts can make the best deal for managing their finances.
In a perfect, and perfectly appropriate, reversal of fortunes, school districts are already saving taxpayer dollars by breaking away from the WEA Trust. Instead of leaving the districts with no choice but the union, the union will now have no choice but to face up to honest competition.