Insurance trumps teachers’ raises

Jake Rigdon:

The dilemma has hit smaller school districts the hardest.
According to unofficial estimates, health insurance premiums are expected to increase between 16 percent and 23 percent in the next school year in the Athens, Auburndale, Edgar, Marathon, Spencer, Stratford and Tomahawk school districts, affecting more than 460 teachers. Some districts pay 100 percent of the premiums. Others require teachers to pay a portion.
In response, Athens, Auburndale, Edgar, Marathon and Stratford are considering options such as finding a new insurance carrier that offers a cheaper plan, shifting to plans with fewer benefits or joining an insurance consortium.