It has been eight-and-a-half years since the Indiana State Teachers Association’s insurance trust went belly-up due to bad investments and mismanagement. The remedies included staff layoffs, a $40-per-member dues increase, and the sale of the union’s headquarters building to a newly established NEA real estate firm.
ISTA did get one thing right. It told its activists in 2010 that the union “will be reporting a substantial negative net worth for the next 17 years.”
A look at the latest numbers shows ISTA still owes NEA $10.5 million, but it has steadily paid NEA $1 million each year. If it can keep to those repayments, it should free itself of the obligation right on schedule, in 2027.
Of course by then the entire teacher union world may look vastly different. Both ISTA and NEA should be able to return to their respective status quo, but the next state affiliate to sabotage its own finances won’t find an NEA bailout so easy to obtain.