Coronavirus COVID-19 // Uncategorized // June 2nd, 2020

Image courtesy of Life Science.

Online Resources

MMSD COVID-19 Updates Dane County Public Health
Gov. Evers’ COVID-19 website
CDC: Ways to manage stress & anxiety
MTI Virtual Learning FAQ
DPI School Closures FAQ US Dept of Ed – Impact of COVID on Testing/Accountability
Apply for Unemployment
Unemployment FAQ Help your community in this time of need. Volunteer safely at
Dane County Job Center Call 2-1-1 for assistance AFL-CIO Survival Guide to Unemployment
3.27.2020 MMSD Frequently Asked Questions 3.30.2020 DPI Implementing Educator Effectiveness for 2019-20 Unemployment Benefits for School Year Employees

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

On March 27, the $2-trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. The bill is a good start and, while not perfect, does address many needs of our students, educators, and schools. It is intended to help stabilize workers, families, and the economy during the COVID-19 public health crisis and is the third relief package Congress has passed during the coronavirus pandemic. The National Education Association (NEA) is also advocating for additional stimulus funds in a fourth package.

CARES Act – One Time Payment FAQ CARES Act – Student Loans FAQ
CARES Act – Student Loans Webinar
CARES Act – Unemployment Insurance FAQ
CARES Act – ESSA Waivers FAQ

3.26.2020 Families First Coronavirus Response Act – New Leave of Absence & Pay Options for MMSD Employees

Online Learning

WEAC – Best Practices for Educators in an Online World WEAC – Selfcare for Educators Working at Home
April 3, 2020: Watch a brief video update from MTI.
Read MTI’s press release regarding the March 18 donation towards the COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Make an online donation to support the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The Fund is administered through the United Way of Dane County and the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County.

Contacting MTI during School Closures

In order to help us expedite the high volume of questions while working remotely, we encourage MTI members to:

  1. Visit the online resources listed on MTI’s website.
  2. If you still have questions/concerns, send them to MTI staff and leadership at
  3. For urgent matters, contact MTI directly at (608) 257-0491 for assistance.
  4. While MTI Offices will be closed to members and visitors for the foreseeable future, we are committed to continue to provide members with the advocacy and support they deserve.

MMSD Staff Compensation Concerns & Unemployment Information for unpaid members

Unemployment COVID-19 Resources for unpaid members

Question: What happens if the school I work at shuts down for coronavirus. Will I be eligible?

Answer: If this closure is not during a customary break period, or extends longer than the customary break period, individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they meet the monetary and weekly eligibility criteria.

If members have Unemployment questions after reviewing these sites. Contact MTI staff.

MTI Requests Modification of Employee Handbook to Ensure no Loss of pay in the event of School Closures
On March 11, MTI sent a letter to the Interim Superintendent Belmore and members of the Board of Education requesting the District modify the Employee Handbook immediately so that no staff lose compensation should schools close due to coronavirus, COVID-19. While we are not aware of any imminent plans to close schools in Madison, this action is being taken in preparation for such considerations. We will keep you posted on this important issue moving forward.
To: Interim Superintendent Belmore & Members of the Board of Education

We are aware that the District has a group actively working on plans to respond to the coronavirus. The District has recently invited MTI staff to join this work group and we look forward to participating in this important work. It is our hope and expectation that the District is prepared to take whatever prudent action is suggested by public health officials to mitigate the impact of the virus on our students, staff, and community.

That said, today we are requesting that the District modify the MMSD Employee Handbook effective immediately to ensure that no MMSD employee loses compensation should schools be closed for any reason. This is an issue MTI has been pursuing for some time but the urgency has escalated with the current risks associated with the coronavirus. Last year, the MMSD experienced multiple school days closed due to weather and this year we see the very real possibility of more extensive schools closures due to the coronavirus. This has made the issue of guaranteeing continued compensation for school staff all the more pressing. Any loss of pay during school closures will encourage employee exodus and complicate an already acute staffing crisis in the MMSD.

Again, we look forward in joining the Districts work group tackling this issue but wanted to get this critical issue on your agenda now.

Douglas Keillor
Executive Director
Madison Teachers Inc.