Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The cost on students of healthy teachers

A short but important story in EdWeek about this study on the cost of health insurance in schools. EdWeek reports that:
In the districts that responded, the average annual cost of health care was reported to be $895 per student, out of total per-pupil spending from all sources of $9,400. About two-thirds of the officials surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that medical insurance costs had “negatively affected” spending on academics.
EdWeek makes the connection, as do I, to the problem that health care presents in all sectors. Companies like Wal-Mart have come up with ingenious methods for shunting the cost of health care onto other companies or the government. As public entities, schools cannot do that. One more argument against privatization of schools -- privatize schools and health care is going to be one of the first things to go. Your labor force will then become (even more than they already are) a group of people who either have a well-endowed spouse, have few other options, or will leave as soon as they get a better opportunity.

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