Dense fog and teachers protesting at the State Capitol are wreaking havoc with the school day in southern Wisconsin on Thursday.

Madison schools are closed on Thursday because of a lack of teachers, with the decision made Wednesday night by school administrators to call off classes for a second straight day.

Districts that have canceled classes on Thursday due to expected teacher absences include Beaver Dam, Columbus, DeForest, Edgerton, Juda, Lodi, Marshall, McFarland, Middleton-Cross Plains, Mineral Point, Monona Grove, Mount Horeb, Oregon, Reedsburg, River Valley, Sauk Prairie, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Verona, Watertown and Waunakee.

In most of the districts, staff is required to show up for work, and some districts also are requiring teachers to show up even if there's no class today.

Schools opening two hours late due to heavy fog include Barneveld, Dodgeville, Iowa-Grant, Kickapoo, Markesan, Pecatonica, Poynette and Richland. The Riverdale district schools were closed due to the fog.

NBC15's list of school closings and delays is here.

With classes canceled once again, area high school students are planning to gather at Madison West High School and march to the Capitol in support of unions and against Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair plan.

An e-mail from student organizers said over 500 students from Madison West, Madison Memorial and Middleton high schools are expected to join the march, with speakers scheduled to talk at West beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday.

A statement from the Wisconsin AFL-CIO said 30,000 protesters were at the Capitol on Wednesday and large crowds are expected on Thursday as the Legislature takes up the controversial budget repair bill.

The state's largest school district, however, has not closed.

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton issued a letter to employees Wednesday night, stating "failure to report to work will lead to disciplinary action."

"This is a posture we truly hate to take, but it is a necessary one," the letter said. "The misson of Milwaukee public schools is to educate children, the children who will appear at our schools when the bell rings in the morning."

 

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