Balanced Budgets and Free Lunches in Kaukauna

Madison School Board Member Ed Hughes:

The provisions of the Budget Repair Bill have gone into effect. For school districts that (unlike Madison) did not extend their collective bargaining agreement with their teachers unions, it is a brand new day.
In those districts, collective bargaining agreements are essentially gone and the districts have much wider discretion over compensation and working conditions for their teachers and other staff.
The Kaukauna School District is one that has taken advantage of the Budget Repair Bill provisions. Like nearly all school districts, Kaukauna now requires its teachers and staff to pay the employees’ share of their retirement contributions, which amounts to 5.8% of their salary, and is also requiring a larger employee payment toward the cost of health insurance, up to 12.6% from 10%.
The district also took advantage of the expiration of its collective bargaining agreement to impose a number of other changes on its teachers. For example, it unilaterally extended the work day for high school teachers from 7.5 to 8 hours and increased the teaching load from five to six high school classes a day.