Wisconsin Democrats want higher salaries, end Bill 10 to keep teachers | Wisconsin News

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MADISON — The latest plan from Democrats on Capitol Hill in Wisconsin to “maintain Wisconsin’s educational workforce” would see the end of Bill 10 and a whole lot more state money.

State Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, unveiled a set of laws he says would help keep teachers in state classrooms, as well as attract new teachers to the profession.

“It’s important to invest in our educators, to invest in our students,” Larson told reporters at the Statehouse on Monday.

Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin have tried to kill Bill 10 since Governor Scott Walker signed the law in 2011. This package of laws is no different.

“In the long term, the solution lies in public school funding that meets the needs of all students. And a change in the law that makes it legal again for educators to negotiate with their employers,” said Wisconsin Education Association Council President Peggy Wirtz Olsen.

ACT 10 limited the WEAC and other Wisconsin teachers‘ unions to bargaining only on wages. Proponents say Bill 10 has saved state and local taxpayers nearly $14 billion over the past decade.

Larson’s plan to raise teachers’ pay would tie teachers’ paychecks to state lawmakers’ paychecks.

“The average starting salary for a teacher in the state of Wisconsin is barely above $39,000, while the average legislative salary is still above $50,000,” Larson said.

A report released last spring by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and 24/7 Wall St. found that the average teacher salary in Wisconsin was just over $59,000.

Larson also wants to pay teachers a $7,000 bonus for every five years they’ve been with their local school district.

None of the proposals should go anywhere on Capitol Hill.

Republicans who control both the Assembly and the Senate are more focused on expanding school choice as a way to solve Wisconsin’s education problems.

Lawmakers are expected to conclude their business in Madison next month.

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