Defending union rights at Superior Middle School by scottcschmidley A bill introduced by Republican Gov. Scott Walker limits collective bargaining rights for public employees in the state of Wisconsin. In response, 14 Wisconsin Democratic senators fled to Illinois to stall the bill. It passed the lower house Friday, Feb. 25.
Teachers from Superior Middle School in Wisconsin are protesting the bill.
“I think that we have conceded all of the things we need to balance the budget. But now it feels vindictive, it feels deliberate. It feels like they are taking the voice away from us,” said Mary Anderson-Petroske, an eighth grade teacher at Superior Middle School.
In 2010, Wisconsin students exceeded the national average in all four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks according to the ACT.org’s Condition of College and Career Readiness profile for the State of Wisconsin. The benchmarks include scoring an 18 in English, a 22 in Math, a 21 in reading, and a 24 in Science. Teachers at Superior Middle School fear that the governor’s bill will depress the scores.
“I know the deficit has to be addressed. But let’s be a little more realistic,” said Superior Middle School social studies teacher Dave Eibon.
The governor’s rationale for the bill is to balance a projected $137 million budget deficit. Many doubt this claim, calling the bill a power-play. Protesters are saying that his actions are instead motivated by a goal to dissolve the unions. By isolating the unions, the governor has created a storm of protesters across the state and nation.
As vice president of the Superior School Board, Christina Kintop supports the AWOL Democrats. “I love it, I love it. I hope they’re having a good time. I wanted to send them a care package with clean underwear and clean socks,” Kintop said.
No one knows when the Democrats will return. Teachers at Superior Middle School are bracing themselves for the worst. Phoebe Miron Kroll is an American Federation of Teachers member. She teaches in the foreign languages department at Superior Middle School.
“Well, I expect my entire program to be cut. Foreign languages are just hanging on as it is. I’ll probably be jobless,” Miron Kroll said.