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Teacher insurance proposal called ‘union-busting’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A request that the West Virginia Board of Education consider backing a state-funded teacher liability insurance plan, while termed a measure of good will by one school board member, has labor union officials once again saying lawmakers are out of touch with educators.

Proposed last week by school board member Wade Linger, the plan would extend to the state’s 20,000 teachers taxpayer-funded legal protection from employment-related lawsuits.

“We live in a litigious society, and legal defense can be an expensive thing to worry about,” Linger said. “It just seems appropriate to me — and it only seems fair — that teachers would have some form of protection.”

Linger went on to say liability insurance is a “reasonable benefit” the state should offer its teachers.

While it’s not one provided through the state, teachers do have access to liability insurance and other legal services when they join a union.

Both the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers and the West Virginia Education Association, the state’s largest teachers unions, offer liability insurance packages to members.

But Linger says teachers shouldn’t have to rely on a third party…

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