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27 Schools Receive Part Of $14 Million ISTA Settlement

The state argued the Indiana State Teachers Association used funds from medical plans on risky investments and to pay off long-term disability claims.

Connie Lawson

Photo: Brandon Smith, IPBS

Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced that a 14 million dollar settlement has been finalized. The settlement ends a lawsuit surrounding the ISTA’s failed health insurance fund.

The Indiana Secretary of State’s office is sending checks to more than two dozen school corporations after the state finalized a settlement with the Indiana State Teachers Association.

The lawsuit the state filed four years ago involves a medical plan offered by the ISTA to teachers and school employees. The state argues the funds were improperly used on risky investments and to pay off long-term disability claims.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced today that a $14 million settlement has been finalized. Lawson says the money will be distributed to the school corporations based on how much they lost, but she says it will still only pay back about 50 cents for every dollar lost.

“It’s my opinion that ISTA and NEA have a moral obligation to repay its member the rest of the misappropriated money,” she says.

Lawson says while the ISTA has always claimed its innocence, she charges that the union intentionally misled its members.

ISTA Executive Director Brenda Pike says the union has tried to settle before.

“We have repeatedly tried to resolve these school district claims, even before the lawsuit was generated,” Pike says.

In statement, ISTA officials say the $14 million for the settlement came from what the union won in its own lawsuit against those it says are actually responsible for the collapse of the insurance trust.

The union says the case has been settled in terms that are fair to school employees.

Schools Receiving Money From ISTA Settlement by Indiana Public Media News

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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