STATE AND NATIONAL NEWS
STATE URGED TO TACKLE TEACHERS' HEALTH INSURANCE
The president of a state teachers' union said Monday that rising insurance costs have diminished the teacher raises that the Legislature mandated last year.
Ingnacio Salinas, president of the Texas State Teachers Association, called for legislation to insure all school employees in a state plan with the same options and benefits now provided state workers.
"School Districts can no longer cover the skyrocketing costs of health care through local property taxes," Salinas said.
"School employees can no longer afford these premiums. Therefore the state must take up the responsibility."
Salinas said the state's cost of providing health insurance for all employees would run from billion to billion per biennium.
He said a study completed recently by the Texas State Teachers Association found that 718 of 973 surveyed districts raised the amount their employees must pay for insurance this year.
The survey also shows that nearly all area districts require employees to pay a portion of their insurance coverage. HOUSTON CHRONICAL, 1/11/00