Why Arbitration Is Rarely a Good Idea

The Adverts, “Bored Teenagers” (click to listen or download)

Portuguese Joe. “Teenage Riot” (click to listen or download)

I’ve written many times about why it is rarely best for School Districts to use the arbitration procedure available under the Qualified Economic Offer law (most extensively, here).  There is new evidence from Wauwatosa of the harm that arbitration can cause.

In that district, the Board has chosen to invoke arbitration; in response the teacher’s are “working to contract.”  That means that they have ceased to volunteer their time outside of required hours and duties.

According to WauwatosaNow, “a lot of teachers are cutting back on volunteering for after-school activities and writing letters of recommendation for students.”

Although involvement in many co and extra curricular activities is paid and contracted, not all is.  Our teachers volunteer because they care and the efforts they put in as volunteers often make connections with potentially “disconnected youth.”  With no volunteers, fewer connections, more bored and disconnected youth, more delinquency….

One more thing to think about next time you hear complaints about School Districts avoiding arbitration.

Thomas J. Mertz

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Filed under "education finance", Best Practices, Budget, Contracts, education, Local News, School Finance

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