Wisconsin’s spring election is coming up in two weeks! Today on the show, we meet Deborah Kerr and Jill Underly, the two candidates running for Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Wisconsin is holding its 2021 spring election on Tuesday, April 6. More information from the Wisconsin Elections Commission here. You can register to vote, see what’s on your ballot, request an absentee ballot, and more at myvote.wi.gov.
You can find WORT’s ongoing election coverage here.
Here is some basic information about Deborah Kerr’s and Jill Underly’s backgrounds and platforms, published by the WORT news department in February before the seven primary candidates were narrowed to two.
Deborah Kerr has a forty-year history in education and spent twenty-one years serving as superintendent for rural, public schools, most recently at Brown Deer Schools. She’s also served as the president of both the National School Superintendents Association and Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators.
On policy, Kerr supports expanded literacy and reading programs, which she also advocated for during her tenure with Brown Deer Schools. She’s also proposing a pedagogy of “character education” to reduce in-school violence, suspension, and misbehavior.
Jill Underly has served as a teacher, principal, school administrator, and in the state’s Department of Public Instruction. Most recently, she’s spent the past six years as the superintendent at the Pecatonica School District.
Underly is “strongly against” the expansion of taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, as well as the expansion of “school choice” programs. She supports reforming how the state funds schools in line with recommendations put forward in 2019 by the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding.
She’s also a proponent of expanding mental health resources for students, including adding a mental health professional to school staffing requirements.