MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison School District is closing it's doors Wednesday.
The Madison School District and Supt. Dan Nerad say, "due to substantial concerns of excessive staff absences, the Madison School District is forced to close all of our schools to students on Wednesday."
The district says, "We regret having to make this decision, but with the significant percentage of staff members reporting absences for Wednesday we can not assure the safety of all students. As of late Tuesday evening, 40 percent of the 2,600 members of the teacher bargaining unit called in sick, and it is expected that this number will continue to increase through Wednesday morning. At this ratio we have serious concerns about our ability to maintain safe and secure school environments."
The district says there are not enough substitute teachers to fill the need.
All MMSD staff are expected to report to school on Wednesday to meet their contractual obligations.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison Teachers Inc. is recommending to the Madison Metropolitan School District to close school Wednesday.
MTI asked district superintendent Dan Nerad to shut the doors so all able teachers can go to a rally at the Capitol Wednesday to protest Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill, which would strip most state and local workers of collective bargaining rights, except when negotiating salary.
"Our system works and it works well, but the governor is attempting to cripple those benefits, those rights, those procedures and strip this contract down to one page," said MTI Executive Director John Matthews.
Earlier Tuesday Nerad sent a letter to parents - saying they expect - "Excessive staff absences" tomorrow and through the rest of the week. Nerad says a higher than usual number of staff members have already called in sick for Wednesday. He says they'll have to provide a medical excuse - or they won't get paid.
As of 9pm Tuesday night - school in the Madison District has not been canceled - but Nerad says they are weighing their options and monitoring the number of absences as they come in.
The district says they will announce whether schools will be open as soon as they make the decision.
Madison Teachers Inc. represents 4500 teachers, substitutes, supportive educational employees, educational assistants and school security assistants of Madison.