Abracadabra! The schools "discover" a windfall. Or is it really a slush fund?
Washington Post, Sunday, June 12, 2011, page A18
Now — presto! — the schools have conjured $21 million in “savings,” mostly, they say, because hale and hearty employees have suddenly reduced their health insurance claims by $15 million to $18 million.
That raises a question: Will the windfall be directed to the classroom, to avoid planned layoffs of special education instructors, remedial reading teachers and counselors, for instance? No, says the school board (and, more to the point, the teachers union, which really calls the shots — and announced the decision). Instead, much of the money will be used to spare employees from a small hike in their ultra-low health insurance premiums.
To the naked eye, it appears the schools were using their insurance claims budget as a sort of slush fund.