President to School Board: New ideas are OK, sometimes…

Carol Carstensen, President of the Madison School Board, announced in a recent letter to The Capital Times that new ideas are OK with her, so long as they are not illegal, in violation of contracts, can save money and are capable of implementation. School Board ideas must be feasible
The Madison district will spend $37M on health insurance for its employees this year. That’s about 10% of the operating budget. The district also foresees an $8M gap between its expenses and revenues for 2006-07.
Looking for ways to provide high quality health insurance for the teachers at lower costs would seem like a good idea in these circumstances. The district had even set the stage for this new idea by forming a task force with the teachers union to explore options for different coverage.
However, Ms. Carstensen had zero interest in this new idea. Not one Board meeting on the topic, not one instruction to the district’s representatives. She skipped the two meetings of the task force. When the union announced that the talks were over, she had no comment.
Illegal? In violation of contracts? Not a good way to save money? Impossible to implement? Which of the four tests did the health insurance task force fail?