2013 Elections Preview: Wisconsin voters to decide fate of state education superintendent

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April 1, 2013

 Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction 

MADISON, Wisconsin: There is only one state executive position up for election in 2013 in the state of Wisconsin - State Superintendent of Public Instruction.[1] Incumbent Tony Evers was first elected to the post in April 2009 and is seeking a second term in tomorrow's general election.[2] Evers, a career educator, faces Don Pridemore, a Wisconsin State Assemblyman since 2005. Although the Superintendent of Public Instruction is a nonpartisan position, Evers is a Democrat and Pridemore is a Republican.

Unlike previous elections where multiple individuals filed to run, Pridemore was the only challenger to submit the necessary signatures required to appear on the ballot before the[3][4]filing deadline passed on January 2, 2013[4], thus negating the need for the scheduled February 19, 2013 primary election.[5]

In the weeks leading up to the April 2 election, Evers and Pridemore debated the merits of education proposals put forth by Gov. Scott Walker (R) in his budget plan, in addition to salient issues such as the department's current policies on school mascots, school safety measures, and vouchers.[6][7]

Here of some highlights from the debate:

Pridemore supports Walker's plan to expand the use of vouchers in the state while not increasing public school spending. Meanwhile Evers opposes both measures and wants to increase spending by $225 per student.[8]

Pridemore said budgets are tight and schools should not expect more money. "A lot of these common core standards really started with international standards. Now, why should we be beholden to some worldwide organization that's just trying to dumb down America," he stated.[9]

Regarding school safety, Pridemore proposed allowing schools to have armed volunteers to provide security, which Evers said risks turning schools into the "wild west."

The contenders have come together in opposition to Walker's proposal to create a separate school board to oversee charter schools, offsetting the otherwise stark contrast between the candidates' views as expressed throughout this year's campaign.[10]

In Wisconsin, all polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Central Standard Time.[11]

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