Teachers across Southeast Wisconsin rallied Monday against Governor Walker’s budget repair bill. Racine Education Association President Pete Knotek said what’s lost on the Governor is the cooperative working relationship between the union and school district. He said the bill would strip away bargaining that’s been in place for decades on issues like class size, curriculum development and teacher performance evaluation.
Doris Szejna, President of the Racine Teaching Assistant’s union, gave a reminder that educators pay taxes too and accused Walker of a prompting a taxpayer versus teacher dialogue. Teachers may not only ones harmed by the union provisions. “When you undermine the employees, you hurt the students,” Szejna said.
Some 150 teachers and TA’s marched with signs outside Racine Unified School District’s headquarters, including school board member Don Nielsen and State Representative Cory Mason, while passing motorists sounded their horns in support, including a group of firefighters.
Meanwhile about 100 high school students in Stoughton walked out of class Monday in support their teachers. Madison East High School students plan a protest march to the State Capitol today. The Wisconsin State Journal also says there’s a Facebook group started by Platteville students which called for a statewide student walkout today.
The budget repair bill is an effort by Walker to fill the $137 million shortfall in the current cycle.