"You do not need to be a politician or related to one to be a successful leader. Most politicians are indirect leaders."

 

"You must actively listen to those you are committed to serve. It is in listening that you will find the problems that need attention."

 

"I have solved a lot of challenging problems over the years and I am ready to do more. I am excited to go to work for Northeast Wisconsin."

 

Education

 

Do you agree that a high-quality public education is an economic necessity and an anchor of democracy?

 

A high-quality public education system is the cornerstone of the “American Dream”.

 

A healthy strong democracy cannot sustain itself with an under-educated population. To effectively execute the responsibility that comes with democracy requires a knowledgeable voter base to protect it.

 

Strong public education is the best pathway from poverty to financial independence.   I personally was raised in a single parent home dependent upon AFDC and other government programs for food, shelter, etc… Access to a good public education allowed me to escape the cycle of poverty and thrive independently.  The government investment in my education has been repaid many times over and I have been able to raise a family that is self-sufficient.  Allowing public education money to be funneled to private schools erodes the public educational system.

 

Do you Support Voucher/School Choice Programs?

 

These programs which originated in Milwaukee in 1990, have grown to cover over 43,000 K-12 students in the state of Wisconsin.  Although the intent may have been to improve education, there is no strong evidence that Wisconsin students educational outcomes have improved under voucher programs.  There also continues to be significant achievement gaps when white student are compared black student populations.

 

I contend that the voucher programs have been detrimental to the public education system in the following ways:

 

  • Reduced budgets for public schools resulting in larger class sizes, reduced support staff, and cuts to music, art, and physical education programs.

 

  •  The funds for private school vouchers come directly from funds allocated to public school districts resulting in higher local property taxes required to support education.

 

  •  Reduced Teacher satisfaction leading to higher employment turnover

 

 Private schools operate at standards less than those placed on public schools

 

  • Accreditation is optional
  • Teacher certification is optional
  • Lower annual instruction hours requirements
  • Assessments are optional ( except Milwaukee)

 

In summary, I do not support further expansion of the voucher programs and would like to see them phased out in a reasonable manner.  Budget dollars should be restored to the public educational system to ensure that all students have access to a well-rounded quality public education regardless of race, economic status, etc...

 

Other Observations - There is strong Wisconsin Voter support for public education.  52 of 57 referendums passed in the April 2020 elections.  These referendums have increasingly been used to fund operating expenses which poorer districts have less opportunity to leverage property taxes to support public school quality.