Protesters rally for high wages, support for Madison teachers

Protesters Rally For High Wages For Madison Teachers
WISC-TV/Channel3000.

MADISON, Wis. — Protesters gathered in front of Madison schools Friday to rally for higher wages and more support for the teachers inside.

Organizers for the “Rally to Defend Our Schools” said the Madison Metropolitan School District is failing its students and its staff. Protesters demanded higher pay for substitute teachers and support staff and cost of living adjustments for full-time teachers.

East High School English teacher Jeff Kunkle said students have been suffering because the district has been losing staff.

“We’ve been understaffed, we have people covering positions they’re not supposed to cover and people that aren’t able to do their job because they’re running study halls, and so we need to as a district support our staff … so they can support our students,” he said.

RELATED: Members of Madison teachers union rally for increased staff retention efforts

The demonstrations came days after members of the union representing the district’s teachers rallied outside administrative offices ahead of a school board meeting.

In a statement on Monday, the district said it agrees staff members deserve more but pointed much of the blame at state lawmakers.