Commentary on Madison Schools Teacher Benefit Practices

David Blaska:

Like the Sun Prairie groundhog, the Madison school district’s teachers contract has come back to bite the taxpayer. The Madison Metropolitan School District is looking at a $20.8 million budget deficit next school year.

Good Madison liberals worried about the state balancing its budget can now look closer to home.

To balance the budget, the district will most certainly have to raise taxes again; last year’s increase was a hefty 5.4%. It will probably cut programs. It may even lay off teachers. To ease the blow, will it ask those teachers to contribute to their excellent health coverage like 99% of the rest of the world?

This is the school district that thumbed its nose at Wisconsin law, the school district that eschewed using the flexibility given it by Wisconsin Act 10, the 2011 collective bargaining reform. Madison is the only district that collects union boss John Matthews’ dues for him, the only district that requires fair share payments, the only district that does not require its employees to contribute toward their very excellent health care insurance. A district that gave teachers longevity raises of 2% and 3% on top of free health insurance.

Much more, here.