While Indiana teachers have had Right to Work privileges since 1993, teachers are still forced into representation by the Indiana State Teachers Association in many districts where ISTA is the exclusive bargaining agent.  Perhaps now the ISTA’s devious moneymaking schemes to look at other choices for professional representation, like Indiana Professional Educators, a nonunion, independent teacher organization which offers membership benefits without the politics and Ponzi schemes.

Jeff Swiatek and Chris Sikich report on the Ponzi scheme in the Indianapolis Star.

The state has agreed to accept $14 million to settle its 4-year-old lawsuit against Indiana’s largest teachers union over what Secretary of State Connie Lawson described as a Ponzi-like financial scheme.

The settlement, announced Tuesday, would allow the Indiana State Teachers Association and its national affiliate to avoid an Oct. 28 federal civil trial over whether they should be found liable for up to $27 million in losses to school districts from the collapse of ISTA’s insurance trust fund in 2009.

Lawson’s office alleged in the lawsuit that ISTA, whose parent is the National Education Association, sold health plans to 27 school corporations but misrepresented the securities and the fund balances. Her office alleged that ISTA didn’t invest some of the schools’ money but instead used it to cover shortfalls in the long-term disability plan.

“ISTA was blatantly covering up their Ponzi-like scheme through falsified account statements,” Lawson said in a statement. “Repeatedly doctoring account statements to create the illusion that investment funds exist after they’ve been misappropriated is shameful.”

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