Union leader calls for Madison schools to close during planned sickout

Matthew DeFour:

The Madison School District is preparing for “excessive” teacher absences Wednesday, and a teacher union leader urged school be closed because few teachers are expected to show up for work.
School officials announcement Tuesday in a letter to parents they expected many teachers to call in sick Wednesday.
The letter was distributed the same day nearly 800 Madison East High School students — half the school — walked out to participate in a demonstration at the state Capitol protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to limit public employee bargaining power.
Students at West, Memorial and at other schools around the state — from Shullsburg to Sheboygan — also participated in demonstrations during school hours.
As of Tuesday evening, Superintendent Dan Nerad said a higher-than-usual number of teachers had called in sick for Wednesday, though he declined to disclose exact numbers. He said the district would monitor the expected absences overnight before deciding whether to cancel school.

Jessica Vanegeren and Susan Troller have more.