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[r23] Rep. Friend pleased to see restitution for local schools
Start Date: 12/3/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 12/3/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Rep. Friend pleased to see restitution for local schools

STATEHOUSE – State Representative Bill Friend (R-Macy) is pleased to see restitution for North Miami Community Schools and Caston School Corporation from the settlement reached between the State of Indiana and the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) and the National Education Association (NEA). Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced today that her office finalized a settlement of a federal securities fraud lawsuit for $14 million, which accused ISTA and NEA of defrauding Hoosier schools out of over $27 million. 

The two local school corporations will receive the following money from the settlement: 
Caston School Corporation – $489,226.28 
North Miami Community Schools – $470,649.43

“I know that these schools will be glad to see some of the funds returned to them,” said Rep. Bill Friend. “It is disconcerting to see these two organizations, the ISTA and NEA, which were trusted by these school corporations, intentionally mishandle education dollars that should have been benefiting our local schools, students, teachers and administrators. I commend the Secretary of State Connie Lawson for her due diligence throughout this entire process, and I hope that both the ISTA and NEA return all of the money to each school corporation. It’s the right thing to do.”

ISTA offered teachers and other school employees a medical plan that allowed school corporations to invest their excess claim balances to offset future health care costs. The Secretary of State’s complaint alleges that ISTA did not invest the money as promised, but instead used the money to cover significant shortfalls in their long-term disability plan and to invest for ISTA’s own benefit. 

“In the next ten days, school corporations will see a recovery four years in the making. Teachers and administrators alike can finally put this lawsuit behind them,” said Secretary Lawson. “They will receive 50 cents on the dollar for the money ISTA and NEA misappropriated. We strongly believe our case supported full repayment by ISTA and NEA, but we knew they were willing to spare no expense on endless litigation. This settlement gets these school corporations a much needed, immediate financial boost.” 

According to the Secretary of State, this litigation was not fought at the taxpayers’ expense.  All legal fees were paid with fines collected from violators of Indiana’s securities laws. To maximize the recovery to schools, Secretary Lawson waived the right to levy fines against the ISTA and the NEA and to seek repayment of attorney’s fees.

-30-
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: (317) 232-9831
Email: nicholas.goodwin@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
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  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Business & Agriculture
  • Education
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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