August 5, 2013
NEA Settles Suit With State of Indiana. The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana Secretary of State, the Indiana State Teachers Association and the National Education Association have reached a settlement of the state’s $24 million lawsuit against the union stemming from the financial collapse of ISTA’s insurance trust in 2009.
The state accused ISTA of unlawful sale of securities and fraudulent misrepresentation, and named NEA as liable because of its oversight of the UniServ program.
Settlement negotiations began in earnest after NEA failed to have itself removed from the suit. The settlement was apparently filed last Friday, though the magistrate judge agreed to the parties’ wishes to keep the details under seal.
I expect these will eventually come to light (and will do my best to be the one to bring them to light), but a good guess would be a denial of wrongdoing in exchange for a multi-million dollar payout, though somewhat south of $24 million.
Since there’s no chance ISTA itself can cover any kind of financial settlement, it will be incumbent upon NEA national to generate the necessary funds. That means more dues money from across the country flowing into the Indiana affiliate.
NEA has done a fine job of hole-plugging to this point, but the supply of plugs isn’t inexhaustible. Healthy affiliates may start wondering why they are paying so much for life support for sick ones.
Last Week’s Intercepts. EIA’s daily blog, Intercepts, covered these topics July 30-August 5:
* AFT Troops Topple Another Local Affiliate. Coup, then sue.
* Mouth Off. Ignoring teacher voice isn’t limited to school districts.
* How to Close “Open” Bargaining Sessions. Gag order.
* You Will Be Assimilated. If money talks, it talks everywhere.
* Counting Pennies? School spending instead of district spending.
Quote of the Week. ”A lethargic membership is more cancerous than reforms, charter schools, and excessing. Members’ expectation of any president must be tempered with what they are willing to do for themselves.” – Nathan Saunders, outgoing president of the Washington Teachers Union. (July 31 letter to members)