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New Bill Would Allow Racine School Board President To Appoint New Member

GOP Lawmakers Are Involving Themselves In A Local Issue, Racine Teachers Union Says

Gilman Halsted/WPR

The Racine teachers union is accusing Republican state legislators of taking sides in a local dispute over how to fill a vacant school board seat, but the lawmakers say they’re just trying to break a deadlock so the school district can pass a budget.

The eight-member school board has held 35 votes on filling the vacant seat, but none of the candidates won the required five-vote majority. The board is equally divided among union supporters and those who support the limits on union power that took effect in 2011.

State Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, has introduced a bill that would allow the school board president to appoint an interim member to serve until the next election. The current president isn’t a union supporter, and union Vice President Aaron Eick said that will unfairly tip the balance.

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“To choose sides, which is essentially, what they’d be doing is heavy handed and will only sow more confusion,” said Eick.

But Waangaard released a statement calling on the union to focus on “student learning” and not on “protecting their fiefdoms.”