On Madison.com, Madison School Board member Ed Hughes says he wants to bonus the Madison teachers with a $200 Dane Buy local gift card to help make up for lost wages, for the unpaid days they had to take, for protesting Governor Walkers war on education.
Board member Ed Hughes said giving the Madison School District’s 4,030 employees a $200 Dane Buy Local gift card plus $60 to cover the related income taxes — costing $1.05 million — would be similar to a profit-sharing bonus and serve “as a gesture of appreciation for all the hard work our teachers and staff have done through these hard times.”
It’s unclear whether district officials or other board members support the idea.
Don Severson, president of Active Citizens for Education, a district watchdog group, called the proposal “crazy.”
Hughes even has a way to pay for it:
Funding would come from the $1.3 million windfall the district will get from docking the pay of 1,769 teachers who were absent without an excuse on one or more days between Feb. 16-18 and 21.
The district closed school during those four days because of the high number of staff members who called in sick to attend protests over Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed changes to public sector collective bargaining.
“Under the circumstances it seemed to me the school district shouldn’t necessarily profit from that, because the teachers agreed to make up the time in a way that took away planning time for them,” said Hughes, who is considering a run for school board president when new officers are elected Monday.
Maybe Ed Hughes has it wrong, maybe he should say that the Madison Schools are thinking about leaving the state and then the politicians could fall all over themselves to offer them money to stay. Plus an extra $1,000,000 pumped into the local economy would not be a bad thing at this time.