MPS could relax residency requirement

CREATED Dec 11, 2012

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MILWAUKEE – MPS human resources director Karen Jackson needs to attract a lot of teachers.
“I believe that the talent is out there,” Jackson told TODAY’S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.
To make the job more appealing, the district is considering giving new hires up to three years to move within the city limits.  Suburban teachers could work in Milwaukee Public Schools for 36 months, then quit before they are forced to move.
“It is possible you could hire someone and after three good years, they would leave,” Jackson said.  “But, that’s the point.  At least we would have three good years of their service.”
Rules currently give new teachers up to one year to take up residency in Milwaukee.
Due to retirement, MPS anticipates its largest single-year loss of teachers ever and may need to as many as 700 new teachers for 2013-2014 academic year.  That accounts for more than 10-percent of the district’s teaching workforce.
UW-Milwaukee’s College of Education trains more MPS teachers than any other institution.
UWM education majors Caroline Blackburn and Marijana Brinkman want to teach in Milwaukee.  They support the idea of changing the rule that requires employees to live in the city.
“You get three years to get in the district and see what you think, like do you want to move to the city,” Brinkman said.
“It gives people an option,” Blackburn added.  “They would more likely take that opportunity at MPS and give it a chance.”
UWM College of Education dean Carol Colbeck said, “anything that will bring new teachers in and get them hooked… that could be good.”
An MPS Board of Directors committee is expected to take up the proposal at a meeting on Thursday.