Local union guy Tom Berger weighed in on the Caledonia school secession issue in a JT commentary. He does not favor it.
Among his more hilarious questions was this gem: "How will you achieve the diversity required by federal law in those schools?" I don't know all the details of federal law as it relates to this issue, but I doubt that a school district would be required to be more diverse than the community it resides in. Otherwise we might have to start importing some Hmong students from Green Bay.
But I like this question the most as it reveals the real issue for Berger: "How do you expect to get the voters not living in Caledonia, Mount Pleasant and Sturtevant to vote in favor a (sic) secession when it will undoubtedly increase their taxes to keep what is left of RUSD?" Tax happy communities like Racine are always looking for other communities to pay their bills, so the loss of Caledonia from RUSD would be a huge blow to RUSD. It is about time that Caledonia starts to look out for Caledonia students, especially as I have heard of credible reports indicating that 60% of eligible Caledonia students are stearing clear of RUSD schools. Caledonia residents are paying huge sums of cash for a school system that they are avoiding like the plague. If their secession harms RUSD, perhaps that will spur the remaining RUSD communities to consider some actual reforms that might work, such as school vouchers.
I have some questions of my own for the folks in Caledonia. Here they are:
To what extent can you link the demise of education to the rise in power and influence of the teachers unions?
Can you form a school district that minimizes or eliminates the influence of the teachers union?
Do you have to build shools at all or could you simply issue vouchers to parents who could use them to send their children to the school of their choice, whether that choice is public or private?
And this last question is for Mr. Berger: Since when do voters in Mount Pleasant get to vote on Caledonia matters?