Press Release

Springfield – Springfield Education Association (SEA) and Springfield Ball Charter Education Association (SBCEA) will attend the District 186 Board of Education (the board) meeting tonight to urge the board to reconsider a decision to make $1.4 million in cuts to employee health insurance.

“We are in the middle of a global pandemic. The coronavirus has closed our school buildings and is forcing most Illinoisans to stay home. Healthcare is more important than ever,” SEA President Aaron Graves said. “The board’s cuts to insurance mean our educators will have to pay more for healthcare, disproportionately impacting our most vulnerable educators, lower wage earners, families and those who are forced to use the district’s insurance.”

For the first time in many years, the District 186 Board of Education, by a 6-1 vote, rejected the recommendation of the district’s insurance committee and voted to cut health insurance benefits for its employees. The insurance committee’s proposal to raise the health insurance premiums by 5 percent would have distributed the costs more evenly between the insurance subscribers and the district. The board’s plan reduces the insurance benefit substantially, while refusing to increase the district’s contribution at all.

The board health insurance plan causes:

  • 20 percent increase in the individual deductible
  • 20 percent increase in the family deductible
  • 20 percent increase to office visit co-pays
  • 20 percent increase to out of pocket maximums
  • Doubling the emergency room co-pay

“Our school buildings may be closed, but our educators are working harder than ever to make sure our students’ education is not disrupted. We deserve to be able to protect our health and our families’ health at an affordable cost,” Graves said.

SEA has more than 1300 members who are teachers and support professionals working in District 186. SBCEA has 40 members who are teachers and support professionals working for Springfield Ball-Charter School.

“Our school system is operating in crisis mode. Our teachers are working harder now than ever to keep our city’s students on track with their education – while at the same time, in many cases, managing the education of their own children,” said Makayla Fawcett, the SBCEA president. “The board of education should be supporting and, frankly, celebrating our city’s teachers. Its effort to punish local teachers for its own failure to responsibly manage its budget is appalling and entirely inexcusable.”

Tonight’s board meeting will be held virtually at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to join through this link. Anyone wishing to address the board may do so by registering here.

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The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.