Wisconsin Teachers Get Layoff Warnings
... including the wife of the GOP's Senate majority leader
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2011 6:48 PM CST
Republican Sen. Scott Fitzgerald looks around the Senate chambers at the state Capitol Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
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(Newser) – The Republican majority leader of Wisconsin's Senate is learning firsthand what the fight over collective bargaining means for his state: his wife just got a layoff warning because it might go away. Lisa Fitzgerald, wife of Scott, is a guidance counselor in a public school district, and she and scores of teachers and other school employees are getting the preliminary notices ahead of a Monday deadline, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

It's a precautionary move being advised by the state's Association of School Boards. As the Wisconsin State Journal explains: State law requires districts to let teachers know by Feb. 28 if their contracts aren't being renewed. Normally, that deadline can be extended through collective bargaining, but since Gov. Scott Walker wants to do away with it, the districts need to cover themselves with the blanket warnings. Otherwise, future layoffs could be contested in court by teachers. "It's not something I take lightly," says Scott Fitzgerald. "It will have an effect on our life." But he's still backing the governor's plan.