MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Schools are closing throughout the state because of teacher absences, weather and pre-scheduled breaks.

Districts including the Madison School District closed for one to three days last week after many teachers called in sick so they could protest at the Capitol. They and others were rallying against a proposed bill that would cut collective bargaining rights for most state workers.

Madison schools will be closed for a fourth straight day Monday. Spokesman Ken Syke says there were “substantial concerns” about staff absences. He says the district has assurances that teachers will return to the classrooms Tuesday.

Milwaukee schools are also closed, but because of a previously scheduled mid-semester break.

Schools in central and northern Wisconsin shut down as well. Those areas received 10 to 12 inches of snow since Sunday.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (24)
  1. guestalso says:

    Don’t worry the administration will have them make up the days. After 30+ years of teaching, I haven’t seen staff get something for nothing. They will probably add days on to the teachers calendar after school is out.

    1. For the kids.... says:

      Good to know, I’m sure everyone will enjoy sitting around inside the classroom in June compared to teaching in February.

  2. laura says:

    I think all the teachers that call in sick and cause the schools to have to shut down should be fired. There are better ways to express your anger than disrupt learning for kids that should be in school. Maybe this would have a been a great opportunity for the teachers to have a discussion in some of their classrooms about what they are so upset about and why they feel they should be exempt from having their benefits increased when chances are most of the students they are teaching their parents have had to increase their share of health insurance and retirement. My husband works for the city we live in and he is unionized and hates it. His benefits have incrased every year, our health insurance is increased and his dues increase every year and every year he asks why, the union does nothing for him.

    1. trahanaja says:

      of course they do – they bribe politicians to keep the gravy train rolling and drive everyone else into the abyss….

  3. Melissa says:

    Um, it’s President’s Day. Did Wisconsin school districts originally plan on having school today? Sounds like a story spin to me.

  4. kcp says:

    I’m a county employee and a union member. I don’t view the teachers as being greedy by fighting for their rights/pay/benefits. I feel our country was based on the right of free speech and the ability to bring about change with our voices and actions. As a union worker who took some pay hits in the last few years I commend the teachers union for their ability to organize so well and have such a great show of support. I’m not especially happy to see more of my paycheck go to union dues but I’m not very involved. I realize there’s more that is done behind the scene so I accept the loss in pay. I also realize no system is free from corruption; that’s why people’s right to protest must be protected. We have more of a chance of being protected as a union they as an individual. I’m sure we area all aware of the hard times right now but if we keep taking from workers we are going to end up with more “working poor” as we see in the welfare office. More of our own employees are applying for services. If this continues the taxpayers will go from paying teachers’ wages/benefits to paying their unemployment/food stamps/medical assistance, etc. I think the politicians should be an example and start cutting from their own paychecks and benefits before they put that burden on “lower-end” workers. I don’t hear about them taking cuts themselves just issuing cuts; have they taken cuts? If so, let us know. I have heard in the past that a few WI politicians voted for cuts in their pay but I believe some, if not all of them, have been voted out of office. My belief is that the government should lead by example. If the government can’t protect their workers’ rights and pay them a decent wage/benefits how can they expect private industry to do so. Do we really want to end up like other countries where most of our rights, including free speech, are taken away? I’m hearing more and more stories of workers in other countries forced into labor and whisked away if they speak out against their government. Listen to the stories from around the world – many people are fighting for their rights – we are supposed to be an example for them as well – not go back in time. The teachers are not highly-paid bankers/investors/lawyers/etc. (no offense) who are trying to rip off the state that pays them. I really think we should support the teachers in their right to protest not condemn them.

    1. Julie says:

      Very well said. Teachers have the most important job in the world, yet they have some of the lowest pay. I applaud them for fighting for their rights. Go teachers!

  5. helper says:

    The only shameful group are the republican pigs that do not support the teachers…

    1. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

      So let me get this straight. WI voters last fall voted in the Republican Party to stop the waste. But WI is a very Liberal leaning state. Looks to me that they have had enough of the Unions and other waste. The VOTERS are the one to talk to, not this spin you are doing

    2. True Helper says:

      The democrats look to be the only pigs right now! How are they supporting the teachers by fleeing? What are we teaching the kids? when you don’t get what you want, don’t show up. it’s ok for teachers to skip school, but kids cannot. It’s ok for teachers to get fake doctor’s notes, but it’s not ok for students to write their own notes. You might be entitled to your opinion, and I respect that, but before you go calling people names, you should really think about those children who are suffering from this. I’m sorry that teachers are taking the blunt of this. But please remember there are more than just the teachers that this will affect. If all, it affects everyone in the state of WI and even in other states. Walker was elected to do what the people asked. Now that he is doing that, people are complaining. Sounds a little hypocritical to me!

  6. firsttime says:

    Taxes pay for public employee and officials pay. If some cannot offord to pay their taxes they get their wages garnished, loose their homes and possibly be sent to jail. I wonder how many parents had to take time off without pay to stay home with their children during these walkouts? I once heard a staff person in a headstart building brag about how they were being paid over $100.00 an hour for overtime. Does any of this seem reasonable?

  7. commonsense says:

    I’m so sick of the unions. They are alot of liberal pot bellies. I say get rid of the unions. I’m all for that. They are the cause these deficits are so high. It’s time for commonsense. All the democrats that fled should be arrested and jailed for not doing their job.

  8. dt says:

    The beatings will continue until the moral improves.

  9. Pieter says:

    Teachers not working.

    Politicians not working.

    Parents of children not working.

    Who’s really winning here?

  10. getaclue says:

    Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:
    South Carolina -50th
    North Carolina -49th
    Georgia -48th
    Texas -47th

    1. you get a clue says:

      Why not have WI join then since they are already ranked 44th??? Save some people some money

  11. laura says:

    I have a lot of friends that are teachers, in fact went to college for teaching, do they have an important job for sure, I don’t think anyone disputes that, however a parent’s job is the most important job, not a teaching job. I do believe teachers are underpaid in some ways because of everything they have to put up with in a classroom, but they chose that profession and no one in teaching really does it to make a lot of money, they should do it because they enjoy being around kids, seeing the face of someone who finally understands a complicated problem, or because of the other”perks” they get ie summers off(I realize not everyone takes summers off but that is a benefit) On the other hand some of my friends that are teachers have been doing it for 20 plus years and make a very nice salary, drive very nice vehicals, and have very nice houses so it can’t be that bad. I just think there are better ways to protest than have kids miss school, the kids are the ones that will suffer because now they will have to make up the missed days either at the end of the yr or some other scheduled day off, and they had no control in any of this. Also want to add, not all schools had today planned off, my kids were suppose to go to school today but because of the weather they got a day off and it will be made up

  12. getaclue says:

    Really? Look up ACT/SAT scores. Can’t get around the facts.

    1. Pieter says:

      Thanks getaclue, I did just as you suggested. It took some heavy lifting, but here is the source I assume you used:

      Unfortunately, your source does not specify a date for which this data was taken. 1999, 2004, 2009 who knows?

      According to my sources below, ACT/SAT scores vary from year to year by state. Therefore, the theory that not allowing collective bargaining lowers ACT/SAT scores doesn’t necessarily work.

      Try these out:×463670

  13. WISupoorter says:

    I am from Wi and live in Minneapolis. I went to Madison this weekend and protested at the Capitol with 70,000 of my friends. I am disgusted reading these posts and the misinformation that people have. The WI Public Employees have agreed to the the healthcare and pension costs. The have agreed to take the financial increases. Governor Walker knows this and has heard this. The issue here is collective bargaining.

    Taking away their Statutory Rights in a week will not accomplish the goal of balancing the budget. How will taking away the right to bargain over pensions, health insurance, working conditions and hours save the state money on this budget? My Dad is a public employee, in the winter he plows snow. He works long hours for humble pay to keep our roads safe and our cities moving. I believe he deserves his pension payments; he deserve his benefits; and he DOESN’T deserve the blame for our state’s budget issues. He continues to provide state services despite reduced wages, increased workload, and longer hours. He has done so with a sense of public service and sacrifice.

    The private sector is just as important to Wisconsin’s continued prosperity as our public servants are. But the survival of one should not depend upon the destruction of the other. Governor Walker and his cohorts need to meet at the bargaining table to form a compromise that everyone can live with.

    Also, make sure to THANK a public employee today for working long hours to keep YOUR roads safe while you spend your day complaining about their rights on this forum.

    1. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

      @WISocialist Simply put, one of the worst spins I have seen. You couls have come up with something better.

    2. 2V says:

      thank you for taking the time for the trip – if this goes on longer, I will fire up the Ranger.

  14. mark from MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

    Here is a question for the WI teachers. If you are so good at what you do why is the bar lowered every few years? Also Why are Catholic and Home Schools growing while there is a decline in WI Public schools. Just wondering.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE