A Madison school board member has touched a nerve with a proposal to offer bonuses to teachers in the district. Ed Hughes wants to give 4,000 district employees a $200 gift card, plus $60 to cover the taxes, as a way of showing the district’s appreciation for their work.
The plan would cost MMSD just over $1 million, which Hughes proposes paying for with money saved when schools were closed earlier this year. Those closures were the result of many teachers called in sick in protest of Governor Walker’s collective bargaining bill.
The sick out closed down schools for four days.
As expected, the proposal is meeting with some stiff criticism. Don Severson, of the watchdog group Active Citizens for Education, questions the lack of reality in the proposal. He says it would be irresponsible.
It does not sound like the rest of the school board is signing on with Hughes’ idea either. Member Lucy Mathiak thought it seemed “goofy” to give away a million dollars and then raise property taxes. Another board member, James Howard, says it probably wouldn’t sit well with the public either.