Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

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Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Agency Profile
Superintendent:Tony Evers
FY 2014 Budget:$5.94 billion[1]
Year founded:1848
Website:Department Home Page
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction oversees public K-12 education and public libraries in Wisconsin. The department was created in 1848 after ratification of the Wisconsin State Constitution. Article X, Section 1 of the Constitution created the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction to supervise public education.[2] The department managed 2,211 schools and 871,551 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year.[3][4]


The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction possessed limited powers through its first century of existence. In 1849, the Superintendent of Public Instruction was tasked with annual school inspections, curriculum recommendations and distribution of revenues from public land sales. Authority over teacher licensing, curriculum development and assessment fell to county superintendents into the early 20th century. The Wisconsin State Legislature authorized the department to license state teachers in 1939. The department gained authority over special education in 1947 and high school graduation requirements in 1983.[5]



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See also
Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction
List of school districts in Wisconsin
Public education in Wisconsin
School board elections portal
The mission statement of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction reads:[5]
The Department of Public Instruction provides direction and technical assistance for public elementary and secondary education in Wisconsin. The department offers a broad range of programs and professional services to local school administrators and staff. It distributes state school aids and administers federal aids to supplement local tax resources, improves curriculum and school operations, ensures education for children with disabilities, offers professional guidance and counseling, and develops school and public library resources.[6]


The current Superintendent of Public Instruction is Tony Evers. The following list details his cabinet officials:[5]

  • Deputy State Superintendent: Mike Thompson
  • Executive Assistant: Jessica Justman
  • Special Assistant: Scott Jones
  • Chief Legal Counsel: Janet Jenkins
  • Director of Education Information Services: John Johnson
  • Legislative Liaison: Jennifer Kammerud

Departmental divisions

The Department of Public Instruction has five divisions managed by assistant superintendents listed below:[5]

  • Division of Academic Excellence: Sheila Briggs
  • Division of Finance and Management: Brian Pahnke
  • Division of Learning Support: Carolyn Stanford Taylor
  • Division of Libraries and Technology: Kurt Kiefer
  • Division of Student and School Success: Lynette Russell

State Board of Education

Wisconsin does not have a state board of education.

Organizational chart

The following chart outlines the organizational structure of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction:[5]

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction org chart.jpg


The Wisconsin State Legislature approved the following biennial budget for the Department of Public Instruction through the 2015 fiscal year:[1]

Department budget
Funding category FY 2013 ($) FY 2014 ($) FY 2015 ($)
Special Education 368,939,100 368,939,100 368,939,100
SAGE 109,184,500 109,184,500 109,184,500
Pupil Transportation 23,703,600 23,703,600 23,703,600
Sparsity Aid 13,453,300 13,453,300 13,453,300
Bilingual-Bicultural 8,589,800 8,589,800 8,589,800
Tuition Payments 8,242,900 8,242,900 8,242,900
Head Start Supplement 6,264,100 6,264,100 6,264,100
TEACH Debt Service 2,279,100 2,153,300 2,052,300
School Lunch Match 4,218,100 4,218,100 4,218,100
Aid for CCDEBs 4,067,300 4,067,300 4,067,300
Special Education-High Cost 3,500,000 3,500,000 3,500,000
School Breakfast Grants 2,510,500 2,510,500 2,510,500
Special Education-Supplemental 1,750,000 1,750,000 1,750,000
Peer Review & Mentoring 1,606,700 1,606,700 1,606,700
4K Start Up Grants 1,350,000 1,350,000 1,350,000
School Day Milk 617,100 617,100 617,000
Open Enrollment Transportation 434,200 434,200 434,200
Aid for CESAs 260,600 260,600 260,600
Gifted and Talented Grants 237,200 237,200 237,200
SAGE-Debt Service 133,700 133,700 133,700
Supplemental Aid 100,000 100,000 100,000
Youth Options Transportation 17,400 17,400 17,400
Per Pupil Adjustment Aid 42,500,000 0 0
STEM Grants 0 250,000 0
Educator Effectiveness 0 5,746,000 5,746,000
High Cost Transportation Aid 0 5,000,000 5,000,000
New Per Pupil Aid 0 63,487,500 126,975,000
Tribal Languages 222,800 222,800 222,800
Aid for AODA 1,284,700 1,284,700 1,284,700
School Library Aids 37,000,000 32,000,000 34,000,000
Environmental Education, Forestry-UW 200,000 200,000 200,000
Environmental Education, Env. Assess-UW 130,500 130,500 130,500
Educ Telecomm Access-DOA 11,105,100 11,105,100 11,105,100
General Equalization Aids 4,293,658,000 4,341,594,600 4,415,960,500
High Poverty Aid 16,830,000 16,830,000 16,830,000
School Levy Tax Credit 897,400,000 897,400,000 897,400,000
State Residential Schools 11,210,300 10,788,000 10,788,000
Total: 5,873,000,000 5,947,372,600 6,086,875,000

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