Said Kaleem Caire, president of the Urban League of Greater Madison, who has been trying to get approval for the Madison Preparatory Academy, a charter school aimed at low-income, minority students.
At one point, Madison Prep agreed to hire union teachers, and the union agreed to remain neutral on the proposal. When that plan proved too expensive, Madison Prep revised its plan to use nonunion teachers....There's some disagreement about whether, under under the state's new collective bargaining law, such an agreement would nullify the whole contract.
The union contract, which expires in 2013, doesn't allow Madison to hire nonunion teachers. Exceptions have been made previously through negotiated agreements between the union and the district.