New legislation would prohibit the Milwaukee Public Schools from requiring, as a condition of employment, that a teacher reside within the school district.
The bill’s sponsor, Waterford Republican Scott Gunderson, says government should not be able to tell people where they can or cannot live. He says this requirement could be very damaging to a family unit.
Chris Thiel, with government relations at MPS, opposes the bill. He says the residency requirement of the teacher’s contract took effect in 1978, and the very next year the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA) proposed legislation prohibiting such requirements.
Thiel says they went into the bargaining discussions in good faith and everyone agreed to the deal with the condition of residency requirement. If the legislature gets involved, he says it will diminish their negotiating leverage.
Gunderson argued that Milwaukee and Chicago are the only two school districts of the nation’s top 50 that have such a requirement.
If passed, the bill (AB 89) would take effect beginning July 1, 2011.
The Assembly Committee on Labor held a public hearing on the issue on Wednesday.
Jackie Johnson report 1:27