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Dispute over whether more teachers have been fired since Act 10

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - More teachers are being fired in Wisconsin, now that unions lost a lot of their bargaining power under Act 10.

Nobody is keeping track of how many teachers have been let go since Act 10 took effect two years ago.

Officials from the state’s largest teachers union and the state School Boards’ Association both say they’ve seen a noticeable increase in firings and non-renewals of teacher contracts.

It used to be that school boards needed proof of wrongdoing before they could let teachers go – but that’s no longer the case now the unions have lost virtually all of their bargaining power.

Supporters of Act 10 said too many bad teachers were being kept on the job – while unions said the law allows teachers to be fired arbitrarily.

Christina Brey of the WEAC teachers’ union tells the Oshkosh Northwestern, “So many districts have thrown the idea of just-cause out the window.” She says it has become an unfair process for, “educators who might be targeted.”

Oshkosh school official Mike Nault says there does not appear to be an increase in teacher firings in his district. He said the key is to treat teachers fairly.

In many school districts, teachers can appeal their firings to their school boards. There are no independent arbitrators.