State Superintendent Tony Evers delivered his 10th State of Education address but his first as a candidate for governor today at the state Capitol. He doubled down on his plan to invest $1.4 billion more (a 10% increase) for schools over two years in the next state budget. He also held a press briefing after the speech and discussed possible ways to pay for that plan. See – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel & Wisconsin State Journal coverage.
Read the entire speech here.
Below are selected excerpts:
Education remains – as it has always been – the great equalizer. The pathway to prosperity. The key to a skilled workforce and a robust economy. … Our deep history and commitment to public education is a source of immense pride to me, as I’m sure it is to all of you.
Governing is about priorities. … And right now, Wisconsin’s priorities are out of whack. Today in Wisconsin we’re spending less on our public schools than we did eight years ago – putting us below the national average. We serve over 50,000 English learners – and that number is growing. We serve over 120,000 special needs students. Four in every 10 kids are economically disadvantaged.
A decade of disinvestment hasn’t magically solved problems, increased student performance, or improved our competitive edge. Divisive solutions from Washington and Madison haven’t made things better. These policies are failing us. But the people of Wisconsin know there’s a better way.
Now is the time to adopt a transformational education budget that responds to this call. A budget that provides educators what they deserve: the resources they need to meet the needs of our kids. A budget that increases opportunities, closes gaps, and allows for competitive compensation.