Contact: Heather DuBois Bourenane (608) 572-1696,

Wisconsin Public Education Network Questionnaire will help voters make informed decisions Feb. 21 and April 4

SUN PRAIRIE — Supporters of strong public schools around the state worked together to create a list of questions they wanted to ask the candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction. The candidates’ responses have been published in the Wisconsin Public Education Network 2017 Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidate Questionnaire (pdf) and on the Wisconsin Public Education Network website.

Ellen Lindgren, a retired school board member and member of Citizen Advocates for Public Education-Middleton, was a member of the team that developed the questions. “WPEN is hopeful that voters will review the candidates’ answers and make an informed decision about their vote in the February and April elections,” Lindgren remarked. “The Superintendent of Public Instruction is our elected official who presses for the best for public education and our teachers and children, and this guide will help voters make an informed decision which matches their values. Schools are the heart of our communities, and voters need to know what the candidates believe.”

The questionnaire was developed by a representative group of public education advocates from around the state, and by members of the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools board of directors. All four candidates Superintendent of Public Instruction were asked respond to the following questions:

1. What do you believe is the role of the State Superintendent in relation to public education in Wisconsin.
2. In your view, what is the most pressing issue facing public education in Wisconsin, and how would you address it if elected?
3. What changes in school funding will you promote in order to direct resources to districts, schools, and students based on their unique needs, such as geographical location (particularly urban and rural communities), poverty, English language learners and students with disabilities or mental health issues? If you would prioritize funding or resources in one or more of these areas, explain why.
4. What is your position on publicly-funded private school vouchers (including statewide expansion and special needs vouchers) and privately operated (non-instrumentality) charter schools?
5. How do you propose addressing Wisconsin’s teacher shortage?
6. Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take, if elected, that you suspect might cost you some popularity points.

Wisconsin Public Education Network encourages all who care about the future of our public schools to learn where the candidates stand and vote on February 21 (primary) and April 4 (spring election). Many school districts around the state also have school referenda and school board elections on the ballot. Voting on these measures is an important part of our responsibility as citizens and in doing our part to preserve and participate in local control. Decisions made at the ballot box determine the future of our communities and the possibilities for the success of our children.

Wisconsin Public Education Network is a coalition of individuals, organizations, school districts, and grassroots advocacy teams working to ensure that every child in Wisconsin has equal opportunity and equal access to an excellent public education. Those who wish to connect with the Network and be part of the growing movement to support local schools are invited to visit Wisconsin Public Education Network is a project of the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools, a 501(c)(4) non-profit.

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