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Kerr, Underly make final push before critical Wisconsin state superintendent race

Spring Election 2021: See where to vote, what's on your ballot, and more
Jill Underly and Deborah Kerr
Posted at 9:55 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 11:38:49-04

MILWAUKEE — Tuesday, April 6 marks another Election Day in Wisconsin, and the only statewide race on the ballot is for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Voters will decide between former Brown Deer Superintendent Deb Kerr and Pecatonica Superintendent Jill Underly.

Both Kerr and Underly spoke with TMJ4 News and voters while trying to make their pitch in this race.

"I'm currently leading a school district, through a pandemic. My schools have been open and I know what it takes to have them open and keep them open,” Underly said.

Underly held two events in Milwaukee Monday, meet and greets before a day of watching results come in.

“We are crisscrossing the state making the final stops to get out the vote,” Kerr said via a Zoom call. "Our students are in a crisis right now. Our public schools need to be open five days a week."

Kerr says one of her top priorities is to push to re-open schools now. She said she’d make an effort to provide the materials schools would need to reopen under their own customized plans from individual districts.

“Some of our schools are the largest employers in our school community,” Kerr said.

Underly, still in her current role at Pecatonica, led her district back to some in-person learning during the pandemic. She said she's also open to re-opening, but says it's not a one size fits all solution. She believes districts should decide when to move forward.

"Every school is going to be a little different. And every school district should be a little different too, so we need to make sure our school districts have what they need so they can make sure their districts have what they need to re-open safely,” Underly said.

Nonprofit Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reports outside spending for this race has exceeded one million dollars, the most ever spent by outside groups for the officially non-partisan race.

Polls will open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Click here for more on Jill Underly's policies.

Click here for more on Deborah Kerr's policies.

DEBATE: Kerr v. Underly

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