Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Act 10

Madison School District Sued for Illegal Contracts

This lawsuit appears to be more about making a point than anything else, but it is a point worth making.

A conservative legal group sued Madison’s school district, school board and teachers union Wednesday over what it calls illegal labor contracts the district continues to honor.

The lawsuit was filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on behalf of David Blaska, a well-known conservative blogger living in Madison, according to Dane County Circuit Court records.

The suit alleges the district’s contracts with Madison Teachers Inc. for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years violate Act 10, Gov. Scott Walker’s signature 2011 legislation that all but eliminated collective bargaining rights for most public employees. Blaska requests a declaration that the contracts are illegal and void, and an injunction to prohibit the contracts from being enforced, according to a copy of the lawsuit provided by WILL.

Act 10 Created Teacher Marketplace


“The great irony is that Act 10 has created a marketplace for good teachers,” said Dean Bowles, a Monona Grove School Board member.

Fellow board member Peter Sobol said though the law was billed as providing budget relief for school districts and local government, it could end up being harder on budgets as districts develop compensation models that combine their desire to reward good teachers and the need to keep them.

No, it’s not ironic at all. It is what naturally happens when a market is liberated from the shackles on union bondage. Good and great teachers will thrive under Act 10 while crummy ones will find new careers. It is great for the students.

As for it being more difficult for district managers to adapt to a competitive labor market… good. As with teachers, good administrators with thrive in such an environment. Bad ones with move on. Anyone who has worked in a competitive industry knows how this works.

All Act 10 did was introduce a smidgen of the free market to public schools and it is doing wonders to improve education.

Municipal Spending Down


The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance issued two reports this week, one showing municipal spending per capita declined 3 percent as Walker’s public union reforms and first state budget took effect, and the other measuring the state’s business climate.

According to the group’s annual MunicipalFacts report, cities and villages with at least 2,000 residents spent on average $823 per capita in 2012, down from $848 the year before. Per capita spending grew 2.2 percent on average in the previous six years. Spending dipped 1 percent in 2009, which was the first decline in more than a decade.

Curt Witynski, assistant director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, chalked up the reduction to a combination of factors, including “good management of public dollars by municipal elected officials, Act 10, strict levy limits and several other changes included in Gov. Walker’s first budget, such as the repeal of language requiring municipalities to maintain certain minimum spending thresholds on libraries, police and fire protection” and “the reduction in shared revenue and other intergovernmental programs like transportation aids.”



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