Teaching Profession

Tying Pay to Teacher (Health) Evaluations

By Liana Loewus — August 29, 2011 1 min read

Teachers in one Nebraska school district who don’t work to stay fit and healthy will pay for it—literally.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, Millard Public Schools in Omaha, Neb., is attempting to reduce health care costs through a new wellness program aimed at prevention. Full-time employees will undergo a medical screening, including a health-risk questionnaire and blood test, at the beginning and end of the school year. Those who decline to participate or don’t meet certain yet-to-be-determined health indicators—likely related to blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index—will have to pay 10 percent of their health coverage premium. As of now, the district pays the full cost. The paper says the wellness program is “more aggressive” than those in other Nebraska districts.

The Omaha World-Herald notes the program was negotiated into the teachers’ contract and that employees who aren’t able to meet the health goals for medical reasons can get a physician’s waiver. Even so, it’s hard to imagine there won’t be pushback, given the increasing demands placed on teachers. Could this be the new wave of accountability?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.