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State Superintendent gives State of Education Address

Wisconsin’s State Superintendent Tony Evers said his State of Education address on September 17 in Madison.

Evers looked back at the past year and laid out accomplishments and challenges facing the education community. He highlighted continuing work on Promoting Excellence for All, which includes new materials, videos, learning modules, and recommendations for engaging families and communities in the work of closing achievement gaps. His Parent Advisory Council has spent the past year articulating their own tips to give a parent’s perspective on Promoting Excellence for All strategies.

Evers pointed out the graduation rate, including graduation for students of color, students with disabilities, and students who are economically disadvantaged has increased.

Evers noted that parent and citizen groups had a huge impact on school funding in the recently enacted budget and applauded them for standing up for strong public schools.

“We cannot continue to neglect our obligation to provide students with a fundamental right to an equal opportunity for a sound basic education. The school funding system in Wisconsin has changed in the past 20 years, and we can no longer say that all our students are receiving that basic right,” Evers said.

Mentioning current political events, Evers called it unfortunate that a single legislator has introduced another divisive distraction directed at our schools.

“The founders of our state believed the duties and the direct election of a state superintendent of public instruction to be so important they enshrined those powers in the constitution. That action helped to create a strong system of public schools that are the envy of many states across the country. Taking that vote away from the people is a sad attack at the heart of our democracy and our state’s history,” Evers said.

Evers defined college and career readiness, saying “Our vision for college and career readiness is not a political fad, and it is not just about academic

State Senator Chris Larson released this statement on the State of Education address by Superintendent Tony Evers.

 “One of our cornerstone American principles is that access to quality education is a freedom and right that every child deserves. As we heard today from Superintendent Evers, Wisconsin can no longer honestly say every child has equal access to the kind of education to put them on the path to live the American Dream. It’s long past time we end the political rhetoric and reinvest in our traditional Wisconsin values to ensure every single child, regardless of economic background, obtains the knowledge and skills to put them on a path to success.

 “Despite the recent historic cuts made to our traditional neighborhood schools, Governor Walker and Legislative Republicans continue to throw money at unaccountable, for-profit voucher schools.

 “It is morally, ethically, and fiscally unacceptable that 57 taxpayer-subsidized voucher schools have been shut down since 2003, yet nothing has been done to ensure taxpayers or our children are protected. The most-recent voucher school to close its doors did so just nine days into the school year, leaving students and parents scrambling for a new school before open enrollment ends. How many more kids are they willing to let down before we put an end to this abuse of power?

 “The facts show voucher schools are failing our children. That’s why I introduced Senate Bill 3, which would protect our children and families with basic safety and educational standards that every school should practice. Wisconsin must put an end to the blatant waste, fraud, and abuse that has run rampant in the voucher system for the past 25 years. It’s time to do what we know works and invest in all our kids’ future.”

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