Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Waukesha School Boards Can't Cowboy Up In Negotiations?

Nicolet School Board

The GOP/Tea Party argument against collective bargaining for teachers goes something like this:  The local school unions are active in selecting and supporting candidates for local school boards elections, essentially able to place many of their own hand-selected candidates on the boards.  Then the school board rolls over in collective bargaining and no one involved cares one whit about the taxpayers.  This is the rationale of Governor Walker for "helping" the local school boards take control of their budgets by relieving them of having to do any collective bargaining.

One would expect under this Tea Party scenario of the unions being on both sides of the negotiating table, that the school districts in the state with the highest average salaries would be those with very aggressive unions and in more liberal ("tax and spend") voting communities.  Madison, with Madison Teachers Incorporated, and with a more liberal voting demographic; and Milwaukee, with its strong union and more liberal voting demographic, both come immediately to mind .

But the DPI's 2010 teacher's salary survey establishes that the average total package of salary and benefits(retirement contribution and health care) for all 426 school districts in Wisconsin is $74,843.  Madison's teachers earn, on average, a total package of  $75,558, or about one percent higher than the state-wide average teacher salary.  Milwaukee teachers do better, earning an average package of $86,297, or about fifteen percent better than the state average.  This premium seems reasonable considering the special problems facing teachers in Milwaukee's schools.

The fact is that the 15 Wisconsin school districts with the highest average salaries, according to DPI's survey, are overwhelmingly in the Republican hotbeds of Waukesha and Ozaukee Counties, and in portions of Milwaukee County that are heavily Republican wards.  These are the school boards that need the Governor's help protecting themselves from themselves: 

School District
Average Benefits
City, County

N. Milwaukee, Milwaukee
Maple Dale-Indian Hill
Glendale,  Milwaukee
Hartland, Waukesha
Mequon, Ozaukee
Salem, Kenosha
Lake Country
Hartland, Waukesha
Port Washington
Port Washington, Ozaukee
Muskego,  Waukesha
Raymond No. 14
Franksville, Racine
Brookfield,  Waukesha
Franklin,  Milwaukee
Hartland, Waukesha
South Milwaukee
S.  Milwaukee, Milwaukee
Fox Point
Fox Point,  Milwaukee
Cudahy, Milwaukee

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