Madison, WI – State Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) issued the following statement regarding State Superintendent Jill Underly’s State of Education address.
“Last week, State Superintendent Jill Underly criticized the legislature, stating that the necessary reallocation from administration to classrooms that took place 10 years ago is driving poor results for today’s children. I find it concerning that she’s signaling she’ll follow in the same footsteps of previous administrations that failed to provide a quality education to many of our children.
“First, education is not underfunded. In fact, K-12 is at a historic $17.9 billion, a 17% increase over the last biennial budget. With the federal stimulus money there are schools that received over $11,000 per child, in addition to regular state funding. I continue to wonder what’s happening with the money. One would think the state superintendent would be touting all of the great things our kids are able to take advantage of thanks to the extra money. The reality is that simply throwing more money at our education system won’t fix the problems in the schools where our kids are struggling the most.
“Second, where is the educational excellence we’ve been promised? One wonders if she understands what her responsibility is as we continue to see many of our most vulnerable children flounder and not be properly educated. This is due to the pure
incompetence from this leader and the Governor she serves. With all of the experience between these two life-long educational bureaucrats, I would expect to see significant improvement in educational results. Instead, these leaders refused to even test children’s aptitude because they know they have failed and do not want accountability.
“Third, in our classrooms today, there is more of a push to teach kids what to think than how to think. Our kids deserve better, as their future relies upon their ability to reason. So, I’ll remind the state superintendent to focus on helping educate our children on reading, writing, and arithmetic instead of ignoring them while pushing an uneducated narrative about school funding.
“A leadership void the size of the Grand Canyon exists under this Governor’s administration—leaving our children worse off than before this administration took office.”