Candidates for Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction debate in Madison

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March 14, 2013

 Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction 

By Greg Janetka

MADISON, Wisconsin: With less than three weeks to go until the election, incumbent state superintendent Tony Evers and challenger Don Pridemore faced off last night at a meeting of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards in Madison. The race, which is nonpartisan, has recently focused on education proposals put forth by Gov. Scott Walker (R) in his budget plan.[1]

Pridemore, a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Assembly since 2005, supports Walker's plan to expand the use of vouchers in the state while not increasing public school spending. Meanwhile Evers, who was first elected in 2009, opposes both measures and wants to increase spending by $225 per student.[2]

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.[3]

Regarding school safety, Pridemore proposed allowing schools to have armed volunteers to provide security, which Evers said risks turning schools into the "wild west." While presenting a stark contrast in most of their views, the two did agree in their opposition to Walker's proposal to create a separate school board to oversee charter schools.[4]

The general election took place April 2, 2013.

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