Boots & Sabers

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0818, 13 Sep 14

Burke Continues to Peddle Falsehood

Even as of yesterday she is still spreading this false story.

She would favor reinstatement of collective bargaining for public employees, especially in the education field, to help the education field remain competitive. She said she recently talked to a Neenah man whose daughter took a teaching job in Minnesota instead of her hometown because of better pay and benefits.

And once again the media lets her get away with it.

Her anecdote about the Neenah man she spoke to may be true. Of course, nobody has bothered to ask her who that man is or to verify the story. She could be making it up out of whole cloth. But it could be true.

But she uses the story to paint a picture of the effect of Act 10 and the Neenah School District that is absolutely false. As John McCormack did the job that Wisconsin media won’t do:

Burke didn’t explain what was so bad about the schools in Neenah, a city of 25,000 people about 40 miles south of Green Bay, but the district certainly isn’t having a hard time finding good teachers in the Walker era. “We probably get a couple hundred applications for every opening,” John Lehman, vice president of the Neenah school board and a Republican, told me. “After Act 10, we increased our starting salary from $34,000 to $40,500.”

Because of Act 10, Lehman said, the district reopened two elementary schools that had been closed after earlier budget cuts. Budget constraints were forcing the district to lay off 10 to 12 teachers each year. How many teachers have been laid off since Walker’s Act 10? “None,” said Lehman. The middle school has even begun offering Chinese language courses.

Burke seems to feel that she can just continue to spin this yarn of deception without any critical examination from the media.

And she’s right.


0818, 13 September 2014

1 Comment

  1. Steve Austin

    I think the Walker campaign continues to miss out on prime opportunities to use simple bar graphs to tell the story of Act 10.

    I don’t now the answer to this question, but would like to know the total number of teachers employed in WI in 2010 and their total pay and benefits paid versus 2014. See if there has been a decline or not. Maybe there has been a decline, but my sense is ACT 10 has only checked the rate of growth but hasn’t cut into it.

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