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December 13, 2012

Milwaukee public schools propose changing residency requirements

Erin Richards:

Long-simmering resentment over a rule that requires Milwaukee Public Schools employees to live in the city may resurface this week when the School Board considers modifying the district's long-standing residency rule.

Spurring the discussion is the imminent staffing crisis the district faces - it needs to recruit at least 750 new teachers and school leaders to replace a larger-than-usual crop of retirements expected at the end of this year, all on the back edge of a housing crisis that's made it more difficult for many people to sell their homes or purchase new ones.

To ease the transition, the administration is proposing extending the time allowed for new employees to establish residency in the district from one year to three years from the point of hire. The board's Committee on Legislation, Rules and Policies is scheduled to discuss the plan Thursday.

But the larger question may be whether that's enough of a rule change to attract - and keep - the kind of talented educators the district needs.

"The lack of teachers for next year puts us in a different place than we've been in the past," board member Terry Falk said. "One thing we know we can't do is dramatically increase salaries, or offer some kind of signing bonus."

Posted by Jim Zellmer at December 13, 2012 1:25 AM
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Anyone considering sending their child to Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning?

Posted by: Gregory Rogalinski at December 14, 2012 12:07 AM
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