Instrumentality charter contract

Since 2001, the Milwaukee Public School board has authorized instrumentality chartered schools that it knows will be run by teacher cooperatives. Much of the autonomy for the teacher cooperatives is arranged via the charter contract between the school board and the school. Before the end of collective bargaining in Wisconsin in 2011, teachers in these cooperatives remained employees of the district and members of the union. Schools also had a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the district and union local that provided waivers from aspects of the collective bargaining agreement. However, with the end of collective bargaining in the state, these MOUs are no longer necessary.

The charter contracts recognize that schools are run by teacher cooperatives and require that all cooperatives meet a few specific requirements in their administration of the schools and management of the learning programs. Importantly, they also allow for flexibility in the methods the cooperatives use to meet most of the requirements. Teacher cooperatives decide, for example, all curriculum and budget decisions (after the district takes out what it needs for salaries and services). The district hires and fires; the cooperative, selects and (if necessary) de-selects. Teachers who are deselected by the cooperative go back into the district hiring pool.

The cooperatives are not formally organized with the IRS. They are, however, modeled after workers’ cooperatives to create a state-of-mind about the collective way in which teachers work within them to manage schools. The union sees its members get the professional roles they have not been able to win through negotiation or through legislation.

Learn more about the Milwaukee Teacher Cooperatives in Inventory of Teacher Professional Partnerships (p.20), Education|Evolving’s 2006 Profile of Milwaukee Teacher Cooperatives.

Schools With This Arrangement

Alliance School Milwaukee

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John Greenleaf Whittier Elementary School

Whittier educators use a variety of instructional strategies to teach their students. Our computer technology is kept updated to reflect current trends within society. In addition, each classroom has full access to the Internet as well as other computer programs. Students are able to access informat...

Individualized Developmental Educational Approaches to Learning (I.D.E.A.L.) Charter School

Rooted in individually guided education. Technology rich classroom, active learning and exploration.

Tailoring Academics to Guide Our Students (TAGOS Leadership Academy)

The TAGOS Leadership Academy (Tailoring Academics to Guide Our Students) provides students opportunities to learn and grow in a project-based, supportive, and safe environment where individuality and community are instilled for lifelong success.

Academia de Lenguaje y Bellas Artes (ALBA)

The ALBA curriculum integrates fine arts and creative writing with emphasis on the Latino contribution and cultural arts. Bilingual school, with Spanish taught first (beginning literacy). In second grade, formal English instruction begins.

Monona Grove Liberal Arts Charter School for the 21st Century

The Monona Grove Liberal Arts Charter School for the 21st Century (MG21) strives to provide their students with the skills they will need as they walk their path in life. Ultimately, MG21 challenges its students to ask and answer the question: How do I want to live my life? In so doing, the teacher ...

Class ACT

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Birchwood Blue Hills Charter School

The BBHCS Provides Students: A low teacher to student ratio: 1:15 Student-driven curriculum A flexible timeframe for study Hands-on learning experiences Individualized project learning Student created PLP’s* A technolog...

Anthony Acres School

Anthony Acres is a public charter school through the School District of Mondovi on a 34 acre wooded property on Hwy 37. Our school provides a place-based education through a project based learning structure to 6th through 12th graders. Students at Anthony Acres School enjoy a STEAM (Science, Technol...