Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

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Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is the department for public K-12 education in Wisconsin (Sunshine Review). This state agency manages public education and libraries in the state. It was created in 1848, the same year Wisconsin received statehood, because the state constitution provided for the establishment of local school districts and a free education for all children in the state.[1]

Office of the State Superintendent

The State Superintendent is a nonpartisan, constitutional officer elected every four years by Wisconsin citizens.

Wisconsin's current State Superintendent is Tony Evers (Sunshine Review), PhD.[2]


The following are part of the superintendent's cabinet:[3]

  • Michael Thompson, Deputy State Superintendent
  • Sheila Ellefson, Chief Legal Counsel
  • Sue Grady, Executive Assistant
  • John Johnson, Communications Director
  • Scott Jones, Special Assistant

Assistant State Superintendents

  • Kurt Kiefer, Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning
  • Deborah Mahaffey, Division for Academic Excellence
  • Brian Pahnke, Division for Finance and Management
  • Carolyn Stanford Taylor, Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy
  • Jennifer Thayer, Division for Reading and Student Achievement

Division for Academic Excellence

The Division for Academic Excellence (DAE) is comprised of the Content and Learning Team, the Career and Technical Education Team, and the Teacher Education, Professional Development and Licensing Team.[4]

Division for Finance & Management

This division provides centralized and managerial support services to the department to ensure effective and cost-efficient operation of the agency.[5] It also consists of the seven service areas found below:

  • Community Nutrition
  • Human Resources
  • Policy and Budget
  • School Financial Services
  • School Management Services
  • School Nutrition


Budget data is not audited and represents the district's projected expenditures. The following are the fiscal year budgets:[6]

The annual reports contain audited information that reports exactly what the state spent. The following are the annual reports:[7]

Legislative agenda

The policy and budget team in the Division for Finance & Management analyzes and monitors legislation affecting schools, libraries, and the education department.[8] All of the enacted education-related bills that the DPI watched for 2009 is in this document.

Division for Learning Support

This division focuses on equity and advocacy.[9]

  • Special Education
  • Student Services/Prevention and Wellness
  • Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Wisconsin School for the Deaf

Division for Libraries, Technology, & Community Learning

This division manages the libraries, technology and community learning affecting Wisconsin citizens from preschoolers to senior citizens.[10]

  • Applications Development
  • Instructional Media and Technology
  • Data Management and Reporting
  • Public Library Development
  • Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning

Division for Student and School Success

The four teams in this division are: Community Learning and Partnerships, Office of Educational Accountability, Title I and School Support Team, and Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Programs/Office of Urban Education.[11]

  • Community Learning and Partnerships
  • Office of Educational Accountability (OEA)
  • Assessment & Accountability
  • Office of Urban Education
  • Title I and School Support
  • SAGE
  • Statewide System of Support (SSOS)
  • Title I, Part A
  • Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Programs

External links