Nick Novak discusses how Act 10 helped school districts on Wisconsin Public Radio

June 15, 2015

Wisconsin Public Radio

[Superior, Wisc…] Wisconsin school districts are struggling to balance their budgets, and tensions over changes at one northern Wisconsin district have reached a boiling point. The Spooner school board might seek an independent review of the district, superintendent and the board itself.

The day before the end of the school year, freshman Christopher Dobbe was collecting signatures near the football field at Spooner High School, along with other parents and students. More than 100 people had gathered to protest how they hear teachers have been treated by school administration. Many are calling for Superintendent Michelle Schwab to step down, and for an entirely new school board.

Since Act 10 became law, Wisconsin Education Association Council spokeswoman Christina Brey said they’ve seen more turnover in districts where teachers feel they have less say on the job.

“It’s really hard to work in an environment where you’re told what to do and not ask how that impacts the children you’re face-to-face with,” said Brey.

But Nick Novak, a spokesperson for the conservative think tank the MacIver Institute, said Act 10 has helped districts like Spooner deal with financial challenges.

“That has been able to help balance the budget of local school districts,” said Novak. “It’s helped put money back into the classroom. In many districts, it’s allowed them to increase teacher base pay — to increase programming.”

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