July 1, 2011

"Wouldn't Kaukauna's money problems have been solved if Walker had just accepted those concessions and not demanded cutbacks in collective bargaining powers?"

We've been discussing the news that the Kaukauna school district here in Wisconsin has gone from a $400,000 budget deficit to an estimated $1.5 million surplus as a result of the the new collective bargaining laws, and that question — raised here by Byron York — came up in the comments. It is the key question. From York's answer:
In the past, Kaukauna's agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust -- a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. "It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them," says [Kaukauna school board President Todd] Arnoldussen. "Well, you know what happens when you can only negotiate with one vendor." This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. "With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'" says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.

Then there are work rules. "In the collective bargaining agreement, high school teachers only had to teach five periods a day, out of seven," says Arnoldussen. "Now, they're going to teach six." In addition, the collective bargaining agreement specified that teachers had to be in the school 37 1/2 hours a week. Now, it will be 40 hours.

The changes mean Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes -- from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students.

117 comments:

MadisonMan said...

The incestuous relationship between MTI and WPS was what completely turned me off re: Unions for teachers.

(MTI: Madison Teachers -- what's the I stand for? Dunno; WPS: Wisconsin Physician's Service, a super-dee-duper high end expensive Health Care service)

gerry said...

I read York's column. What do you know? When competition enters the scenario, the greedy teachers' insurance company agreed to lower their rates. Nasty, evil, greedy capitalist, starve-grandma teachers!

James said...

In other news: http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_ba22c49a-a357-11e0-8819-001cc4c03286.html


The National Education Association will be honoring Wisconsin's 14 Democratic senators Saturday for fleeing the state.

State Sen. Robert Wirch, D-Pleasant Prairie, who represents Burlington, was one of the 14 who went to Illinois to avoid voting on Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill.

"The lawmakers will receive 'NEA's Friend of Education' award for making the bold and unprecedented decision to leave the state of Wisconsin earlier this year, rather than vote for a controversial bill that would weaken and possibly eliminate collective bargaining for Wisconsin public employees," stated a National Education Association press release issued Thursday.

The award will be presented during the association's annual meeting in Chicago.

Read more: http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_ba22c49a-a357-11e0-8819-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1QrPFQOSo

Scott M said...

I remember people yelling loudly (you had to to be heard over the protestors) about effects just like the single-vendor stipulations in the CBA. I do not remember anyone giving decent defence to the CBA's in light of outcomes just like the ones outlined above.

As noted in the article, single-source vending puts the buyer at a severe disadvantage. How is it the union wouldn't bid their contracts out on a regular basis to get the best services at the least cost?

Oh...right. That would be capitalism.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

But, but, collective bargaining has no financial impact!

SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!


you betcha.

MadisonMan said...

MTI: Madison Teachers, Incorporated.

Silly name for a union.

Chip Ahoy said...

This word, unprecedented, I don't think it means what NEA thinks it means. See Indiana Feb. 2011, Legislators leave state to avoid vote.

traditionalguy said...

Stealing money is harder to do if everyone can see you doing it. They will either say stop thief...or they will demand a taste of the loot. All of the rules for smooth Thievery Operations are set forth in Chicago Handbook. Today we are being governed under those rules coming out of DC ( The District of Chicago.) The Global Warming Hoax, the IMF and the FED are tuning up their instruments getting ready to play a complete Wagnerian Symphony of theft called currency devaluation.

NYTNewYorker said...

FTA:

"And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. "With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'" says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke..."

Match the lowest bid, imagine that.

Garage?

SGT Ted said...

In more plain language, the WEA Trust was ripping off tax payers by forcing a monopoly in health care purchasing on the government. i wonder how much money they skimmed?

Sam Hall said...

WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'

Well, then how about a rebate for all those years you were over charing us?

Chip Ahoy said...

But I like the NEA. In the crosswords they're a "gimme", a reliable wedge into a stubborn corner.

Scott M said...

Match the lowest bid, imagine that.

It seems to me that this cascade of effects is going to be too diffuse for Walker or the WI-GOP to claim outright victory on the matter. How widespread was the last-minute negotiations between the unions and various boards around the state and what are the terms of those contracts? In other words, the positives like Kaukauna may be drown in a sea of status quo for long enough (a couple years or so?) for the Dems to regain control of a chamber or two without having to face the cacophony.

SGT Ted said...

It's quite clear that the union was using the healthcare contract to launder yet more tax payer money into Democrat Party campaign coffers so they could have the votes to keep the gravy train rolling.

Why do the unions hate working people?

t-man said...

If WEA would only match the lowest bid, I would have gone with the competitor. After price-gouging the district for years, fat cat WEA could afford to beat the lowest bid.

Steve Austin said...

The idea that the unions all agreed to the benefits concessions without the need for Walker's ACT 10 is a fallacy.

Just google some comments from the head of the largest teachers union, the one in Milwaukee. That union still has not accepted the pension and health concessions as of yesterday and thus MPS is going to layoff 500 plus employees.

If Walker didn't put though the collective bargaining limits, we'd never get these concessions.

Curious George said...

The juxtaposition of the Kaukauna and NEA Friends of Education stories tells all what this has always been all about. Walker saves a school district and the Fleabaggers are the education heroes. It also is the tell on exactly what would have been the ultimate outcome if Walker had backed off the collective bargaining restrictions and taken short term concessions. Education is all about teachers and their union prospering. Fuck the kids.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Just think of the possibilities. Racine will now use inmates to mow neglected areas to save taxpayer money. Something they were prevented from doing under their previous CBA.

Racine County inmates to do jobs previously done by unionized employees

caplight said...

NYTNewYorker asked, "Garage?"

Garage has to wait to comment until he gets his WEA talking points for the day. They may be closed for the holiday weekend. Could be a problem.

It is 97 degrees today and I am wearing shorts.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed Crypto Jew)





Garage Redux: Public Employees pay 100% of their own health care and retirement! This I meaningless and pointless!

See I have saved Garage and us needless trouble and heart-burn by answering for him.

X said...

there are these new concepts that have been introduced in recent years that would seem to apply: cramdowns and clawbacks.

the taxpayers of the districts that did quickie deals to beat Act 10 might need to start demanding action.

rocketeer67 said...

It is 97 degrees today and I am wearing shorts.

Hot enough for shorts, but too hot for a slutwalk.

Scott M said...

Hot enough for shorts, but too hot for a slutwalk.

The hell you say! It's never too hot for a slutwalk. If we ever get around to an AltCon, this should be the headliner event on the last night.

Marilee said...

Before this, I had only heard of Kaukauna in the context of the very best spreadable cheese I have ever had. First tasted it at a restaurant in Balboa California.
Did not know it came from an, apparently, delightful city in Wisconsin.

The mind wanders..

Freder Frederson said...

The changes mean Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes -- from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students.

If one bothers to do the math, the last statement, at least for high school teachers, is an outright lie.

5*31 = 155 students per teacher
6*26 = 156 students per teacher

So not only does the teacher have to spend more time in class (an extra period each day) with the extra planning that entails, but they will actually have an additional student.

Joe said...

This is another example how all interests are special in the sense of the dichotomy between special interests and the public interest. Those claiming to speak for the public interest themselves depend on taxpayer funding for their own prestige and livelihood. So pious protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the speakers' private interests generally coincide with their descriptions of the public interest. We lose sight of that at the peril of our pocketbooks.

rocketeer67 said...

If one bothers to do the math, the last statement, at least for high school teachers, is an outright lie.

They're working 40 hours per week now instead of 37 1/2. the time for one-on-one help is outside class time, you total jackass.

Joe said...

Marilee said: "Before this, I had only heard of Kaukauna in the context of the very best spreadable cheese I have ever had."

Same here, except that, based on the vowel combination, I assumed the name was Hawaiian.

TosaGuy said...

Freder,

your equation forgot to include going from 37.5 to 40 hours a week at the school by the teacher.

Shouting Thomas said...

Any chance that anybody in MTI or WEA gets prosecuted over this kickback scheme?

MayBee said...

We talked about the WEA insurance when the protests were all going on. It seemed blindingly obvious the union rules were making it more expensive per teacher, but the money wasn't going to the teachers.

You always have to look for what's really going on when people start screaming about rights that aren't really rights.

carrie said...

No. Teachers unions don't budge on any issues unless forced to do so and concessions aren't permanent. If anyone is interested, here's a link to what I believe is the original Madison 2009-2011 collective bargaining agreement that has been redlined to show the concessions that the Madison teachers made for 2011-2013 before the collective bargaining bill went into effect http://www.madisonteachers.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Teacher-Contract-Revisions-2011-13.pdf MTI's president strongly opposed making any of these concessions.

ndspinelli said...

"There is no freedom w/o choice." With all the rancor, this is the fundamental point in play. And, the unions are against choice. All idealogues are against choice unless they're libertarian. Republicans want school choice but are opposed to choice in abortion. Democrats are in favor of a right to choose abortion, but are opposed to school choice and an employees right to choose whether they want to join a labor union. There is hypocrisy on these and other issues of choice on both sides.

Pogo said...

"In the collective bargaining agreement, high school teachers only had to teach five periods a day, out of seven," says Arnoldussen. "Now, they're going to teach six." In addition, the collective bargaining agreement specified that teachers had to be in the school 37 1/2 hours a week. Now, it will be 40 hours.

...

Teachers' salaries will stay "relatively the same," Arnoldussen says, except for higher pension and health care payments. (The top salary is around $80,000 per year, with about $35,000 in additional benefits, for 184 days of work per year -- summers off.)
"

Meade said...

MadisonMan said...
MTI: Madison Teachers, Incorporated.

Silly name for a union.


Madison Teachers International Socialist Organization was already taken.

Seeing Red said...

with the extra planning that entails,

What extra planning?


More supplies, mebbe, but another teacher plan?


R the math teachers now teaching 1 course that's not their specialty?

Seeing Red said...

with the extra planning that entails,

What extra planning?


More supplies, mebbe, but another teacher plan?


R the math teachers now teaching 1 course that's not their specialty?


wv: Fetas OPA!

Meade said...

ndspinelli said...
"...Republicans want school choice but are opposed to choice in abortion."

Not true. Those of us opposed to using abortion as birth control are not opposed to choice. We just want you to make your choice before you're aborting a human baby person.

Dusty said...

"With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'" says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.

Assuming the contract bidding did take place, and that, afterward, the District took WEA up on the offer, I'd be surprised if the District didn't run afoul of State law governing bidding, particularly the non-collusion portion.

If I were the low bidder and lost the contract because of this "outside the bidding process deal", I know I'd be suing.

Seeing Red said...

Isn't the state of Kalifornia ditching homework?

So when that brilliant idea sweeps the rest of the country, that's 1 teacher complaint gone.


Hmmm, 1 justification is they spend all this time grading homework on their off-hours.

Seeing Red said...

Especially coming down birth canal.

rocketeer67 said...

We just want you to make your choice before you're aborting a human baby person.

Or as my brother says, "I'm absolutely pro-choice. I just think the choice comes at the front end of the 9 months, not in the middle or at the end."

Curious George said...

ndspinelli said...
"There is no freedom w/o choice." With all the rancor, this is the fundamental point in play. And, the unions are against choice. All idealogues are against choice unless they're libertarian. Republicans want school choice but are opposed to choice in abortion. Democrats are in favor of a right to choose abortion, but are opposed to school choice and an employees right to choose whether they want to join a labor union. There is hypocrisy on these and other issues of choice on both sides."

This is so stupid it's painful. The pro life (that you refer to as Republican) issue of abortion is not one of "choice" or not by a single party, it's about a second party, the baby's right to life. The left views it from ONLY the regarding the mother...when it's convenient. The fetus is nothing more than tissue...inconsequential. Hence "choice".

Really, just stupid.

Scott M said...

"...Republicans want school choice but are opposed to choice in abortion."

Not true as Meade pointed out. Further, it's been my experience that those in favor in choice for abortions aren't willing to extend the same choice to the father. Why would that be?

bagoh20 said...

My company used have a virtual monopoly in our niche market. We were did pretty good with that.

Then the Chinese copied everything, and with wages in cents rather than dollars they were poised to wipe us out. Incredibly, we found ways of lowering our costs and dropped our prices by half to compete.

We survived and prospered even more in the years after. We didn't really work any harder and we continued to make about the same profit. It was all accomplished through relatively minor sacrifices, better ideas and a more serious approach.

Its is truly magic what competition, and an existential challenge can do, but it is not automatic. Nearly all of our American competition failed and got out of the market, which just made it better for us.

The recent recession hit our industry hard, and we were decimated losing 80% of our market nearly overnight due to shut downs and bankruptcy. Over the last 2 years we have completely turned it around. For the last 6 months, we have been hiring, paying monthly bonuses and today every employee is getting a substantial raise. It's glorious!

It was all possible by what what we developed in ourselves due to facing and embracing competition.

But it is not automatic. People by nature hunker down and resist and go on defense. It takes leadership to create and direct energy in a better direction. It takes courage. I never heard of the man before this all started, but Scott Walker needs a statue, and the voters were wise.

ndspinelli said...

I get it Meade..only Democrats are hypocrites. Well.when you're truly independent and a free thinker one can't help but chuckle @ these robot responses. Being raised Catholic, I don't believe in capital punishment or abortion. However, I respect the law. Being a male, I will never have to make a personal choice on abortion. Regarding the death sentence, I would be recused from ever being on a capital case[only Fed in Wi.]. Idealogues show their half brains when they think only the other side is hypocritical. Fotunately, we independents are the ones who decide elections.

Seeing Red said...

Being male - you're out of the equation right from the get-go.

I'm female - I never put myself in a position to make that choice.

You're the one who blanketed your statement - Republicans.

That's how it came across - no nuance, it read like you assumed all Republicans walk-lock step.

No need to get huffy.

rocketeer67 said...

I get it Meade..only Democrats are hypocrites

Do all truly independent people and free thinkers lack reading comprehension skills as well? Because that's not what Meade said. He responded to your specific, and (as repeatedly pointed out) stupid example. If you'd like to go back again and pick another example of Republican hypocrisy that actually works, like say their support ethanol subsidies and opposition to diary supports, then you might be able to present a coherent argument. But as it is, you haven't.

Seeing Red said...

Uh oh - The average American commets 3 federal felonies a day?

Whaaa? See Instapundit.


wv:ducting, I firmly believe ducting will cut down on student misbehavior.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Being a male, I will never have to make a personal choice on abortion...."

Wear a rubber and she wont have to either.

Seeing Red said...

commits- bad fingers. The computer did it I tell ya!


wv: shest

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It is exactly what I said yesterday and EXACTLY what we did in our own district.

The ability of the district to cut costs by shopping around for health insurance and to have the employees begin contributing a small amount towards their own benefit packages made all the difference.

The Union controlled mandatory health insurance provider was overcharging. Now that they are forced to compete.....suddenly.....they can lower costs. Amazing.

Without Walker forcing these changes through legislative remedy, NOTHING would have changed because the Union thugs would still have a strangle hold over the schools and the rest of the governmental agencies and would still be extorting money from the taxpayers to line their own pockets.

I wonder all all the useful idiots in Wisconsin feel now that they know just what they were shilling for and how destructive their status quo has been.

Shame indeed.

MadisonMan said...

Same here, except that, based on the vowel combination, I assumed the name was Hawaiian.

Cheese spread from Hawaii? Seriously?

Merkt's is superior to Kaukauna.

gail said...

Our local western WI school district was also forced to buy health insurance from WEA Trust.

Thankfully we have 2 board members involved in negotiations who have spines, and have stood a cost reduction line.

They shopped for health insurance, and bought it from the company that works with the local clinic and hospital, saving about $536,000.

They also raised the deductible, from $100 to $200. ;o

They also notified the union they were researching local business pension plans and contribution levels to bring the district pension more in line with taxpayer reality.

James said...

It seems to me that this cascade of effects is going to be too diffuse for Walker or the WI-GOP to claim outright victory on the matter. How widespread was the last-minute negotiations between the unions and various boards around the state and what are the terms of those contracts? In other words, the positives like Kaukauna may be drown in a sea of status quo for long enough (a couple years or so?) for the Dems to regain control of a chamber or two without having to face the cacophony.

Unlikely since teacher contracts are for either one or two years. So by the time the next gubernatorial election rolls around all school districts will be operating under the new law.

edutcher said...

Alpha/Freder/Montaigne notwithstanding, this is the money quote, "The changes mean Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes -- from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students."

The union teachers bitch about how they need more money and "prep time" to do their job. By not giving in to their demands, now you have smaller classes (more attention per student), more one-on-one attention, and 1/2 hour a day more prep time.

Kell Sir Prize.

And we also have this, "WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'". Funny what happens when you break up a racket.

Freder Frederson said...

they will actually have an additional student.

Sweatshop.

ndspinelli said...

Being raised Catholic, I don't believe in capital punishment

Then he wasn't raised Catholic.

MadisonMan said...

Being raised Catholic, I don't believe in capital punishment

Then he wasn't raised Catholic.

(laugh) Certainly didn't go to a Catholic school! Unless the beatings there beat the belief of Capital Punishment outta him.

ndspinelli said...

Wow..I'm being castigated by the same people who spewed hate when Elizabeth Edwards died. I wear that scorn as a badge of honor. There are, of course, Republicans who believe in abortion rights. And yes, there are Dems who believe in school choice[ironically, the biggest % are black parents who vote overwhelmingly Dem]. We have never had a Republican president who believed in abortion rights. We do have a president who is pretty damn good regarding education. However, that is not the Dem party line. Now..go look @ photos of Reagan and jerk off[if you're female or gay]. For hetereo men..you have Palin and Bachmann, sort of a twin fantasy!

rocketeer67 said...

Certainly didn't go to a Catholic school! Unless the beatings there beat the belief of Capital Punishment outta him.

I'm just an easily confused protestant, but do "capital" and "corporal" mean the same thing in the Catholic language?

Seeing Red said...

We do have a president who is pretty damn good regarding education


Throwing more money won't make them smarter.

Especially since it's been the "very smart" who have & are putting us into this mess.


See Kansas City, Mo's experiment & Head Start.

For what we spend on education, there should be no need for remedial writing & math at the college level.

Maybe more schools should try what FLA did?

Jeb got something right.

Seems TX does as well v. WI.


I'm from IL - The Peoples' Republic of.............

Marilee said...

MadisonMan:
Merkt's is superior to Kaukauna.

Wonder if I can find it here in the south.
Sorry, but cheese vs teacher unions. I'll take the cheese.

rocketeer67 said...

Ah, yes. Now I recognize you! You're the ndspinelli, True Independent and Free Thinker. Not a lefty at all. No sir, a real, middle-of-the-road man!

I should have recognized you immediately - apologies. Felicitations, sir, felicitations! Say hello to all those other enlightened "middlers" over for me!

edutcher said...

ndspinelli said...

Wow..I'm being castigated by the same people who spewed hate when Elizabeth Edwards died.

IIRC, the people here felt sorry for her.

Some even prayed for her.

Yeah, one of those bitter clinger things.

Scott M said...

@ndspinelli

Should men be able to sign off on their responsibilities to the coming child if the woman decides to keep it? If no, why not? Where's the choice in that?

Scott M said...

I'm from IL - The Peoples' Republic of.............

Have fun with your poppers and sparklers this weekend. We, over here in Missouri, will blow entire holes in the sky from our backyards.

Oh...and we pay a lot less for gas :)

MadisonMan said...

I websearched it, and Merkt's has been bought out and is owned by the Laughing Cow people now. Quelle Horeur! And so is Kaukauna!

I wonder if there are cheese spreads made in Wisconsin owned by Wisconsin companies still.

Scott M said...

I wonder if there are cheese spreads made in Wisconsin owned by Wisconsin companies still.

I hadn't really bought into the fact of an America in decline until some European company bought our beloved Anheuser-Busch. Not that I drink that crap...

Marilee said...

MadMan, I searched too. It's not even available for web order, as far as I can tell.
Damn, it's only 10:30 AM here and I want me some Wisconsin cheese spread. All because of a brave school district in Kaukauna.

Daughter is a teacher btw, and pays a lot more for her pension and insurance than these teachers do. Even after the new law.

vet66 said...

I do believe we overlooked the mother of all slut walks; the protests in and around the Wisconsin rotunda. Those misguided, protesting dupes from who knows where, give sluts a bad name. They need to be told to beat their "drums" in the privacy of their own hovels.

wv; horgallo

What the sluts drink!

Bob said...

I always make sure the car windows are completely shut when driving through Kaukauna AKA Stinky Town.
Tonight, the windows will be wide open so we can take in the sweet, sweet smell of victory.

Brennan said...

Scott Walker for President?

These are the kind of reforms that are needed across the entire country. But you don't need to be President to do it. Got that President Obama? You didn't have to be President to do that. You could have just run for Governor of Illinois.

Too bad Obama went to Harvard and Walker went to...where did Walker go? Oh right.

Let the unlearning begin.

Brennan said...

My favorite part of the York report is the WEF suddenly agreeing to reduced prices.

"Gee. Look at that. I found 25% lower prices in this drawer righthere that used to have a lock on it that said 'collective bargaining agreement'."

rocketeer67 said...

I hadn't really bought into the fact of an America in decline until some European company bought our beloved Anheuser-Busch.

Scott M, I gather from your comment that you have decent taste in beer. I would argue that Anhueser-Busch's acquisition by InBev is evidence of European decline, and actually may be evidence against American decline.

Scott M said...

Anhueser-Busch's acquisition by InBev is evidence of European decline

That's pretty damned funny. I personally love all the microbrews that have cropped up in our area and pay the premium to drink them instead of the pisswater the bigs put out regularly. That being said, a tour of AB is still a tad awe inspiring.

Fen said...

Wouldn't Kaukauna's money problems have been solved if Walker had just accepted those concessions

What concessions? No one with the authority to offer them did so.

Carol_Herman said...

There's a Richard Feynman story out there. textbookleague.org

Back in 1964 Feynmann was asked to help Pasadena review its math textbooks before placing a big order for grades kindergarten through 12.

He was amazed how crappy these textbooks were. (Sure, eventually the politicians would order them anyway.)

But towards the end of Feynman's paper ... what amazed him ... was how two companies began re-bidding!

There was a $2 million savings ... Based on the assumption that "it's cheaper to print if the textbooks can be delivered to the schools, faster."

Don't worry. It doesn't have to make sense. It is all political.

As to the insurance prices in this case. They wouldn't have dropped if Walker hadn't done what he did!

As to the "savings" ... if these savings are real ... Why aren't other school districts SUING WEA's ass off?

to lawyers, a pot of gold has just shown up on the horizon.

But for laughs, there's nothing that beats reading Feynman.

Fen said...

Republicans are opposed to choice in abortion

Bullshit.

Do you know that intercourse can lead to pregnancy? Yes, but you CHOOSE to take that risk anyway.

Do you know that birth control is not 100% effective? Yes. But you CHOOSE to take that risk anyway.

PatCA said...

The union would not have fought so hard, and continue to fight so hard, if it was just about a few dollars.

York is right, and the union's behavior confirms that.

bagoh20 said...

Even though we are very happy with our health insurance carrier and pay pretty low rates, we send the whole package out for bid every year and make it clear to the incumbent that we will switch if we get a better deal. Our rates are about 50% lower than the national average.

John Orzechowski said...

Governor Walker
had to pass the budget bill
to see what's in it.

Jeff Hall said...

Smaller class sizes have a trivial -- in fact almost unmeasurable -- effect on student outcomes after the third grade. Adequate prep time, on the other hand has a large and easily measurable effect on student outcomes, especially in math and science.

So this story seems to be a case of a public body that got a million dollar windfall, and has decided to spend it foolishly rather than wisely.

rocketeer67 said...

So what was in it?
Saving, savings, savings. Lots.
Plus sweet union tears.

Maguro said...

Adequate prep time, on the other hand has a large and easily measurable effect on student outcomes, especially in math and science.

Really? According to who? A "large and measurable effect on student outcomes" is a pretty bold claim.

I'm skeptical.

rocketeer67 said...

Smaller class sizes have a trivial -- in fact almost unmeasurable -- effect on student outcomes after the third grade.

The why are teachers unions constantly agitating for smaller class sizes? I always assumed it was...for the children.

Scott M said...

Adequate prep time, on the other hand has a large and easily measurable effect on student outcomes, especially in math and science.

Define prep time. If a teacher has developed a lesson plan to teach geometry, why would that work have to be duplicated class to class? I'm assuming you're referring to grading papers and homework and such? Why would lesson plans on fixed topics like math require duplicate work from class to class on the same subject?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Adequate prep time, on the other hand has a large and easily measurable effect on student outcomes, especially in math and science.


Since math is a relatively unchanging discipline, especially at the elementary and high school level, just how much preparation can there possibly be, once you have taught the class more than once.

Science does seem to be in flux, especially with the global warming Gaia worship distorting things. However, the core of science is also relatively stable.

It is also my understanding from teachers that I know that the course curriculum is basically given to the teacher and much of the prep work is already done.

I've taught classes before, investment theory (etc) and music. Once you have created the course, there is very little prep.

What has more outcome on teaching is if the teacher actually knows the subject and spends time teaching the subject instead of preaching and indocrtinating the students. That preparation, knowing your subject, should have been accomplished long long before, during YOUR educational process.

I just think you are whining.

vw: phiskinc

accompanied with a rude chin brush off gesture

Harrington said...

In re: Governor Walker's comment quoted in the Byron York column in the Washington Examiner, ...will gain acceptance "with every day, week, and month that goes by that the world doesn't fall apart".

He's quite right, but I think that this Kaukauna development emphasizes the need to turn our attention to the makeup of the local boards of education, etc. What are the people composing these institutions thinking of, when, as they did in Eau Claire, in the last moments before the budget vote, hurriedly passed an extension of the existing teacher contract without analyzing the possibilities that the CB change might mean to the school district. It is time for renewed interest in running for these positions. We have been given the tools, now we must use them.

And, (be still my heart), is it possible that we can use these tools to review and improve school curriculum content? A little thought on this matter will reveal that the possibilities for improvement are endless.

rocketeer67 said...

Prep time: You know - time for stretches, to warm up the voice, focus, "visualize" successfully teaching the plan. Time for adequate rest before a grueling and strenuous session of explaining trig. Prep time.

Synova said...

I'm not sure I understand the question.

Is he, by asking if "Walker had just accepted those concessions," asking if Walker should have just accepted the changes in the costs of the WEA insurance, and length of work day?

Where those *concessions* offered?

And were they offered in good faith without the ability to go back on them again at the first opportunity?

Synova said...

"(laugh) Certainly didn't go to a Catholic school! Unless the beatings there beat the belief of Capital Punishment outta him."

Capital punishment is execution.

Corporal punishment is being beat in Catholic school.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Where those *concessions* offered?

And were they offered in good faith without the ability to go back on them again at the first opportunity?


This is the whole point of limiting the collective bargaining on certain issues. If the unions even DID offer concessions, there was no certainty or guarantee that they wouldn't just backpeddle the next time.

You cannot possibly budget or plan with that level of uncertainty.

As time goes on, peopl will appreciate the genius of limiting the collective bargaining aka: extortion.

ndspinelli said...

ebutcher, Indeed some people did pray for Elizabeth Edwards. I was one of them. And, I was called a lefty, and other things. The irony being I ALWAYS detested her husband and really had little use for her. But unless it's Bin Laden, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc. I'm simply going to say RIP. However, there is a record and all you need to do is click onto the responses back @ the time of Edwards death, where some of the major players here spewed hate, or classless comments. I will take you @ your word that you were not one..I believe in honor. Those who did spew hate and classlessness probably know who they are, but knowing human nature I realize they may not see it, or admit it.

Regarding abortion. I have said I'm opposed. I respect people who work toward making adoption the cool thing, doing something positive. I have hope that Hollywood has changed to a certain degree evidenced by movies like Juno. However, I also see how the most vitriol and violence on the subject comes from men on both sides of the debate. Interesting, don't you think?

Brennan said...

Why would lesson plans on fixed topics like math require duplicate work from class to class on the same subject?

Because in order to program good little progressives you have to update the word problems to incorporate today's social justic grievance.

Oclarki said...

I'm still trying to figure out how the Wisconsin budget showdown had such an effect on a small town in Hawaii? Is Kaukauna on the Big island or Oahu?

Seeing Red said...

I hadn't really bought into the fact of an America in decline until some European company bought our beloved Anheuser-Busch


Ehhh - I think once upon a time - like the 80s or so, the Brits owned about 1/3 of the US.

Brits/Irish, whatever.

They speak funny & eat weird food.

(grin)

Seeing Red said...

Merkt's is superior to Kaukauna.



Merkt's Port Wine....YUM!

Seeing Red said...

Have fun with your poppers and sparklers this weekend.



The only reason we do those is because some idiot neighbor called the cops on us 1 year.

The female cop waited in the front until the show was over.


LOLOL


1 year we rattled the windows.


Then ran for cover.

It was the finale.

Seeing Red said...

Marilee, U might not get spread

but try Lake Geneva Country Meats.

Decent bacon.


Interesting brats - mushroom/swiss

cherry!


garlic & onion

Cheddar


They sell ground bison as well.

Scott M said...

1 year we rattled the windows.


Then ran for cover.

It was the finale.


When I was twelve, an impromptu bottlerocket (using pipe like bazookas) war between my cousins and I versus my dad and uncles broke out in the clearings and woods surrounding our summer cabin. Cabin is quite a big word for basically a large tent made out of wood, but, regardless, it escalated every year until we all grew up and moved out.

I can't WAIT until my kids, now 7, 4, and 2, are old enough to start up again. I think my father, in lieu of explosives shot at each other, is planning some sort of super-soaker fight this year.

ken in sc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ken in sc said...

Teaching was my second career. I spent 24 years in the Air Force, in aircraft maintenance—both as enlisted and officer. Teaching is definitely more difficult and stressful. I have taught primary, middle school, high school, and college levels (college adjunct part time). Middle school is the worst. Teaching is a performance art. The amount of time you spend on stage is a fraction of the amount of time you spend rehearsing. It takes eight to twenty hours of preparation to create one hour of instruction. Once that hour is created, it's relatively easy to update and recreate it later, however, some schools move teachers around every year so that they have to start over every year. That means that some teachers are first year teachers every year. Of course there are some teachers who get stuck in a rut and never upgrade their material or skills. Everyone knows who they are except the administrators—or if they know they pretend they don't. I retired early because I could and because it was just too stressful to continue. Six hours in the classroom is equal to more than twelve hours on the flightline. Teachers are not really off in the summer. They have to take continuing education courses to maintain their certificates. My wife was glad when I quit teaching so that we could go on vacation and spend more time together. BTW, I have never taught in a unionized school district. I have worked in a unionized workplace and I did not like it. It was like having two bosses—each giving conflicting instructions.

Peter said...

I agree that an end to contractual work rules is a huge win. After all, it's the school board that's supposed to run the school for the benefit of the community and not the union that should be running the school for the benefit of its members. If the union wants to run a school, it should buy one.

But this "If walker had just accepted those concessions" meme is just a lie.

1. The concessions wouldn't have been offered without the threat to restrict collective bargaining.

2. And concessions would have been quickly removed if the threat had been withdrawn. Because, concessions promised by union leaders are in no way binding on the rank-and-file. (For that matter, the promises weren't even binding on those who made them).

Phil 3:14 said...

Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. "With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'" says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.

Competition is a wonderful thing!

Freder Frederson said...

They're working 40 hours per week now instead of 37 1/2. the time for one-on-one help is outside class time, you total jackass

45 (a typical class)*5 = 225 minutes= 3.75 hours more a week teaching classes. Where is the extra time outside of class for one-on-one help?

Who is the jackass now?

Salamandyr said...

Teachers are not really off in the summer. They have to take continuing education courses to maintain their certificates.

People have to re-certify and update their education credentials in all sorts of careers. People in those careers don't also get 14 weeks off to do them in either.

I'm in business; a friend of mine is a teacher. I'm working overtime, he's riding his Harley.

Joanna said...

Are there lazy teachers who take advantage of their workplace's systems? Yes. Is this true of every profession? Yes. I find the "Lazy Teacher" stereotype distasteful.

Teachers have two months off per year. So what. It's not like students are in the classroom full time while teachers get the summers off.

Some people work seven days/week. Some work five. Some people work 9-5. Some people work 9-9. Some of these people are salaried while others are payed by the hour.

Different people in different occupations in both the public and private sector are paid in different ways for different things for different hours.

Why does it fucking matter if teachers' payment structure includes summers off?

kimsch said...
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Karmakshanti said...

Of course you can save money if you dictate everything your employees do by sheer fiat. There is now no particular reason why the Kaukauna school board couldn't demand that it's teachers do all seven periods and work a 44 hour week and save even more money. Or a 48 hour week. Or and or and or and or.

There is a name for this kind of workplace. They call it a Sweatshop.

It's not a Sweatshop because employees are forced to do the impossible, it's not a Sweatshop because employees are made to do more work, it is a Sweatshop because the management can demand it's employees to do any foolish thing that comes into its head--to teach standing on their hands or dressed in sackcloth and ashes, if they so choose--without any regard whatever for the fact that they are employing professionals and that they are interacting with fellow human beings.

Such a great burden! To have to sit across a table with your employees and actually listen to them as intelligent human beings instead just of talking at them as the "hired help". Poor babies!

But I'm sure the Board isn't unreasonable and would be open to calling everyone an "associate" to make them all feel better about it, just like they do in the big box stores. Just send President Todd a memo requesting it, and they'll think it over. Maybe they'll add "team meetings" to boost morale and keep everybody focused on the "mission statement".

You are a teacher yourself, Ms. Althouse. How many class preps and stand-ups do you do for a day? How many office hours do you keep? I'll bet it's not anywhere near even 5 classes a day or 2 1/2 hours a day outside class contact with students. I'll bet you don't work a 40 hour week either.

Oh, but of course you are a J.D., and have nothing in common with lesser breeds without the law who have a mere BA or MA in Elementary and Secondary Education. And you wouldn't [or don't] even if you merely had an LLB.

[Insert one loud, long, and juicy Bronx Cheer, here.]

So do you think it would be very "collegial" for your Law School Dean or your University Provost up there in Mad City to announce next fall that all professors will increase their class load by 15%, will keep mandated office hours every day, that the Faculty Senate will be abolished, and that the Tenure System will be scrapped so you will now be under terms of employment "at will" by the University and "at the pleasure" of your Dean?

We both know the answer. And it certainly would save the University a lot of money, now wouldn't it?

Your commenters largely may not know any of this, but how many of them have gotten involved with their local school, beyond making sure Brandy and Jason get there on time? Not many I would suspect.

How many of them have seriously tried to teach a group of 26 people something of importance? If they have, would they have done it any better with only 23 people?

We both probably could make at least an educated guess at the answers.

It's so very easy here on the Internet to talk of groups of strangers as mere sock puppets or illusions on the Holo Deck of the spaceship.

And who are the elementary and secondary teachers in your town, but a group of strangers whom you, me, and your commenters wouldn't know from Adam [or Eve] if passing by them while shopping at the Mall?

Joseph Marshall

Curious George said...

"The amount of time you spend on stage is a fraction of the amount of time you spend rehearsing. It takes eight to twenty hours of preparation to create one hour of instruction. Once that hour is created, it's relatively easy to update and recreate it later, however, some schools move teachers around every year so that they have to start over every year. That means that some teachers are first year teachers every year."

BFD. Ignore the fact that most teachers are not moved every year...8-20 hours of prep for a years worth of work? Oh, wait, that's not right. For 10 months worth of work...if we don't include spring and Christmas breaks.

wv halograb: Teachers and their unions "go to" move

Big Mike said...

Hot enough for shorts, but too hot for a slutwalk.

Interesting paradox. How is a woman dressed too warmly for a slutwalk?

Big Mike said...

@Joanna, after putting one child through 12 years of public and the other through 9 (plus 3 years of Montessori) I'd say that the lazy teacher, the burnt out case, the anger management problem, the doesn't want to teach the syllabus so the kids finish the year knowing hardly anything more -- and quite possibly less! -- than they knew going in, these all outnumber the good teachers by about 12 to 1.

Teachers want to be treated like professionals, but they belong to a union. Teachers want to be paid like engineers, but they don't want to work nearly as hard as an experienced engineer (letting aside that an engineer will be taking courses in partial differential equations and thermodynamics while a teacher takes "Fairy Tales I and II."

Karmakshanti said...

@Big Mike
I'd say that the lazy teacher, the burnt out case, the anger management problem, the doesn't want to teach the syllabus so the kids finish the year knowing hardly anything more -- and quite possibly less! -- than they knew going in, these all outnumber the good teachers by about 12 to 1.

Just out of curiosity, how many of the 13 have you met personally, and know exactly what kind of problem teacher they actually are?

Teachers want to be paid like engineers, but they don't want to work nearly as hard as an experienced engineer

I'll presume you are an experienced engineer and know just how hard they work. But have you ever managed + or - 125 attention wandering children, in different groups of about 25, five times a day, day in and day out for nine months?

If you haven't, do you think you could?

Jube said...

The answer: NO they would not have saved enough. The change to surplus came after a 2.75 million cut in support from the state. So the district saved between 4.5 and 5 million. Not two.

From - http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/124896984.html

"The Kaukauna School District, which expects to lose $2.75 million in state aid, was able to turn a $400,000 budget deficit into an estimated $1.5 million surplus by asking workers to pay more for health insurance and contribute pay toward their pensions. That district plans to hire teachers and reduce class size."

Jube said...

either that, or it was a poorly written article

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