CANDIDATES FOR WISCONSIN SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
Tomorrow is the primary election for a very important position in Wisconsin, the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Since 1848 Wisconsin supported an independent state school superintendent. The constitution believes that this position should be elected by state voters. Be sure you vote tomorrow in the primary election and April 4 in the general election.
For information on voter registration, voter identification requirements, and to see a sample ballot or find your polling place, visit:
There are three announced candidates and one write-in candidate. The primary will narrow the race to two candidates.
- Tony Evers is the current State Superintendent. He has won two elections for this office and is campaigning for his third term. Wherever he worked, he always puts kids first.
He believes the most pressing issue in Wisconsin is the broken system of school funding. There is no equal distribution of resources. His current budget request restates the Fair Funding proposal in which the general aid formula will weight students living in poverty. The state needs to make sure that all students (regardless of zip code) have an equal and fair education. That means that each school district receives the financial support it needs to provide the best possible education.
Tony Evers has included in his budget aid for rural schools to cover the high cost of transportation and to recruit and retain top-quality rural educators.
For large, urban districts he recommends small class sizes and classroom support staff. He recommends out-of-school time programs as well as culturally-responsive curriculum and professional development for educators of diverse students.
Approximately one of five students needs care of mental issues. Mr. Evers has requested aid for that.
Wisconsin has a constitutional obligation to provide an education for every child in this state. This calls for adequate funding of public schools. The voucher program takes money out of the public school fund and sends it to the parents who send their child to a private school. This is not right. The state should pay the full cost of the voucher program.
Mr. Evers said, “Promoting excellence for all children continues to be the defining work of my administration. An equitable education for all students is our priority.”
For more information go to
- Lowell Holtz spent 30 years in education. He retired as superintendent of Beloit Public Schools.
From his website is this quote: “Low performing schools are not the fault of teachers, parents or students. They are caused by poor leadership, low expectations, and an entrenched system that looks out for itself instead of the kids. We must summon the courage to acknowledge our past failures and commit to change.”
His philosophy is: “The role of schools throughout history has been to prepare our children, with the help of their family, religious institutions and communities, to be good and productive citizens. In order to improve opportunities for our children, schools need to strengthen the partnership between the home and the community. Schools that create learning organizations and collaborative learning teams, and place an emphasis on serving children in partnership with their communities, will be successful. As a leader of public education for roughly thirty years, I have NEVER been afraid of competition – it makes ALL of us better!”
“As state Superintendent of Instruction, he will work together to:
– Ensure the children of Wisconsin are competing on a global level
-Improve performance, safety and discipline levels
-Change the culture and climate of our educational system to attract and retain great teachers
-Return local control to your districts
-Advocate for strong schools, no matter if they are public, private, parochial, charter, or voucher schools
-We can no longer turn our back on the thousands of children who are victims of failing schools. Local control must be returned so we can safeguard the future for the next generation.”
- John Humphries has worked in juvenile corrections, school leadership in three rural districts, plus Middleton-Cross Plains, Beloit, and Milwaukee. He worked for 7 years with Department of Public Instruction. He believes he can bring new visionary leadership for education in Wisconsin.
Humphries believes that the DPI can do more to improve Wisconsin schools by “eliminating innovation-killing red tape.” He states that schools can improve with better teaching methods, not more spending. However, he says that rural schools and schools with low-income students are “significantly underfunded.” He believes he can use the money more wisely. “Too much is wasted on ineffective programs and red tape.”
He supports the voucher program and giving parents school choice. He believes there is room for improvement in teacher training, student discipline, and universal literacy.
For more information go to www.humphriesforschools.org
- Rick Melcher is the write-in-candidate. He currently teaches high school math in Racine. For the past 25 years he has taught in six different school districts in Wisconsin. He also has been the president of Bayfield Education Association as well as other leadership positions.
Melcher believes the most important job of the superintendent is to visit schools throughout Wisconsin. He must fight for the public schools. Heavily-funded private interests are trying to privatize public education.
The most pressing issue is adequate funding of public schools. He would eliminate the school choice program by legislation or constitutional amendment. Second, he would remove school funding from property taxes and fund Wisconsin schools by the school fund alone. He would provide full funding to early childhood detection, intervention and on-going support for the full range of mental health issues that present themselves in each unique child. He believes voucher schools are unconstitutional.