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Court action taking place over WEA Trust keeping fed money from schools

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Federal funds are being withheld from Wisconsin school districts that dropped a health insurer connected with the state’s largest teachers union.

Now, the WEA Trust is asking a federal court to rule that its move is okay.

The WEA Trust received $18 million from the government’s Early Retiree Re-insurance Program. It’s designed to off-set the costs of providing insurance for early retirees.

School officials who’ve dropped the WEA Trust say the money belongs to all public districts – and at least 14 of them are reportedly considering lawsuits to get a share of that funding.

The WEA Trust told school systems that the funds would be given out as premium credits – thus forcing them to stay on with the insurance firm to get the money.

But many districts have opted for cheaper plans as a result of the state law which took away much of the teachers’ unions’ bargaining powers.

One superintendent, Glenn Schilling of Hartland-Lakeside, said the district and its law firm will decide by Friday whether to proceed with a lawsuit. 

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