Monona Grove teachers rally for job security three days before school starts

MONONA, Wis. (WMTV) – Monona Grove teachers worried about job security rallied against the school district’s administration to protest changes to their employee handbook.

Monona Grove School District students start school on Friday and there is already tension between teachers and the administration.

On Tuesday, a large group of teachers rallied outside of the high school to protest a school board decision they said threatens their job security.

Teachers at the rally said their superintendent and school board went behind the teachers’ backs and changed the language of the employee handbook, taking away due process, making it easier to not renew a teacher.

Monona Grove School District teachers rallied against changes to the employee handbook.(NBC15)

Brian Frederick is the president of the Monona Grove Education Association (MGEA) and he lead the rally on Tuesday.

”What we are upset about is one: The superintendent never came to MGEA leadership and said, ‘Hey we need to make these changes.’ In fact when we directly asked Superintendent Olson he had said, ‘Well we knew that you wouldn’t approve them,’’’ Frederick said. “That should be a red flag, okay. Then we need to discuss.”

Frederick said the superintendent pushed for and the board approved to remove language from the teacher handbook that protected teachers. He said the handbook used to list specific dates, goals and a plan for a teacher to improve if questions about their classroom came up.

”We learned on Thursday that the superintendent had taken that language to the school board and they had scratched it out. It no longer exists,” he said. ”We’re talking about people’s professional employment here, their life, their work and what they do which is a very difficult job.”

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MGEA wants the school board and superintendent to take up a special meeting and change the handbook back.

“We are simply asking that the school board rescind that vote, put the language, put the language back into the handbook again language that goes back to 2012 and was agreed upon by all parties and then simply take it to what we call personnel committee,” he said.

Teachers rally against changes to the Monona Grove School District handbook.Download Image

Teachers rally against changes to the Monona Grove School District handbook.(NBC15)

NBC15 tried to get an interview with Superintendent Dan Olson, but we were told he had meetings all day.

A school spokesperson sent the following statement:

“District officials say they believe this is a misunderstanding, and they’re confident the concerns brought forward can be resolved. Officials began meeting with teachers today and will continue to hear their concerns and answer their questions.”

Frederick said the school board agreed to discuss the issue at either a special meeting or at their next meeting on September 13, 2023.

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