Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Teacher Residency

Teachers would no longer have to live in Milwaukee under bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Teachers in the Milwaukee Public Schools would no longer have to live within the district under a bill that passed the state Assembly.
The bill would have to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Jim Doyle before it would become law. But that appears unlikely given that the legislative session ends on Thursday.
The Milwaukee residency requirement has been fought by those who argue it keeps away good teachers who may not want to live in the district.
The state teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, also supports removing the prohibition, arguing it places an unfair burden on teachers.
The bill, passed Tuesday on a 62-35 vote, would take effect July 1, 2009.

I think this is a good thing and long over due. I understand the desire to have teachers live in the city of Milwaukee, particularly for voting reasons, but I feel we're at a point where we need to relax this rule as it seems to be hurting more than helping. My daughter's school lost a good teacher due to this rule and there have been other cases in the news recently.

I'm wondering, though, what is this "unfair burden" the article talks about. Living in Milwaukee? Should we assume once this is enacted teachers will flock out of the city? If so, doesn't that tell everyone something(s) about Milwaukee?

I'm also curious how this will affect school board elections should there be even a modest move by teachers.

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