Wisconsin's largest teacher's union says educators will be ready should the state Senate's plan on teacher pay caps come to fruition. The Wisconsin Education Association Council ( WEAC ) has long advocated repealing the Qualified Economic Offer, which essentially caps teachers' pay at 3.8 percent.
In May the union issued a compromise to lawmakers which allowed for a one year delay in repealing QEO saying it would allow districts to transition out of the 16 year old statute.
The Joint Finance Committee and Assembly's budget plan has the QEO being eliminated in July of 2010 but the Senate's budget calls for an immediate repeal. WEAC President Mary Bell says districts will be able to adapt should it happen.
"I think our locals and school districts both will answer the challenge," says Bell.
Proponents of the QEO say it keeps property taxes down by helping municipalities keep their books in order.
Bell says it is not QEO that holds down property taxes but revenue controls which limit the amount of money school districts are entitled to receive in state aids and property taxes.
The WEAC president says QEO stifles innovation from teachers to find solutions to challenges ranging from student performance to school budgeting.