I am a 10-year member of Assembly Education Committee and served as the Chair the past 6 years. Prior to my state legislative service, I was blessed to serve families for over 20 years teaching and coaching students ranging from grades 4-12. I also had the opportunity a few years ago to fill in for a year as an interim principal. Education has been a near-constant presence in my life and has always been amongst my top priorities.
I am thankful to live in a state with so many choices of fine educational institutions. But many Wisconsin children still do not have geographic access, or the financial ability to access a high-performing school. Wisconsin has diversified its education portfolio since I entered office in 2011 by expanding opportunities for parents to choose a school that best suits their children. Public schools will continue to educate the wide majority of our children, but other educational venues such as Virtual Schools, schools participating in the Parental Choice programs, a variety of Charter Schools, and additional options for families of children with special needs are available to our Wisconsin families. Additionally, Wisconsin has long had a strong home school population that will continue to flourish under our state’s favorable education climate. This variety is a true sign of the dedication of our state to meet the educational needs of all its children.
I have a goal of encouraging cooperation between the varying educational entities across our state. We should all be concerned and seek viable, science-based solutions for declining/flat reading scores in too much of our state. I have sought to improve the accountability system for all schools receiving tax dollars. I have fought for teachers to feel safe in their classrooms. I have also sought to improve transparency and consistency regarding the heavy amount of standardized testing performed in our public schools.