In other local school news it appears there has been a 20% (19.5% actually) jump in health care costs for teachers. DFT President Frank Wanner has trotted out the old tried and true “We gave up lots” for this goodie trope. Frank must spend a lot of time listening to former Duluth Police Captain Eli Miletich who is still fuming about the Court’s overruling past insurance giveaways to retired City employees.
What makes this figure stand out is that it happened during an incredible shrinkage of our teaching staff. Since 2007 there has been a seven percent reduction in our teaching staff from 1317 teachers to 1,136 today. Despite so many fewer teacher to insure the insurance costs increased 20%. Simply amazing!
Tim Grover explains that having been involved in previous year’s negotiations he prefers the current system because the process of remaining ignorant of the negotiations is so much less nasty than being a participant. If wearing blinders is an advantage for elected official perhaps we should open elections to cart horses.
I suspect that the insurance giveaways that have caused more teachers to be laid off were offered to keep the silence of senior teachers over the subject of the Red Plan and its continued downward spiral.
The justification, the first of many, to implement the Red Plan was because our schools were said to have too much unused space. With the rapid loss of students its entirely possible that a new Dr. Dixon could make the same argument once the Red Plan is completed. The cost of health care and the willful ignorance of the School Board over teacher benefits will hasten this process.