Evers says teachers should have greater voice in school decisions

State Superintendent Tony Evers says he wants to reinvigorate the teaching profession by providing teachers with a greater voice in decision making processes.

“The issue of teachers is important, and a lot of it has to do with the way we treated the profession and portrayed the profession,” Evers said last week in a meeting with Sauk County Democrats, according to a report in the Baraboo News Republic. “We can fix that, and it’s free. Our politicians need to stop denigrating the profession.”

According to the report, Evers also said he was surprised that Governor Walker proposed a $650 million increase in state support for public schools as part of his 2017-19 state budget proposal. Evers had requested a $700 million increase in his state budget request.

“He called me a week before he delivered the budget and left a message saying, ‘You’re going to be surprised this year,’ and I was,” Evers said. “There’s all sorts of hooks there, I’m not going to sugar coat that, but we’re at a point where the trajectory is good.”

Evers is seeking a third term as state superintendent in Tuesday’s (February 21) primary election. Lowell Holtz and John Humphries, who are both advocates for expansion of private school vouchers, are challenging Evers. Holtz and Humphries have been involved in a controversy over reports that they have discussed schemes whereby one would drop out of the race in exchange for a high-paying taxpayer-funded government job after the election, should the other challenger win. The general election is April 4.

Read more about Evers’ meeting with Sauk County Democrats in the Baraboo News Republic:

State’s top educator says public support on the rise

Wisconsin’s top education official told Sauk County Democrats on Thursday that a $650 million increase in state support for public education included in Gov. Scott Walker’s biennial budget proposal caught him by surprise.

Read an opinion piece about the election by John Nichols in the Capital Times:

John Nichols: Tony Evers vs. the DeVos candidates

When Donald Trump nominated billionaire campaign donor Betsy DeVos to serve as secretary of education, advocates for public education were aghast. Diane Ravitch, the education historian who served as George Herbert Walker Bush’s assistant secretary of education, argued: “The previous Republican administrations did not threaten the very existence of public education and teachers unions.