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New state superintendent calls for unity in her first 'State of Education' address

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 10:28:57-04

MADISON — The Wisconsin State of Education address was held Thursday afternoon. Dr. Jill Underly, who is just a few months into the office, delivered her first address in the Wisconsin State Capitol rotunda.

She called for stakeholders to put differences aside and to come together to help students succeed.

“I’m humbled by the trust Wisconsinites placed in me, and I’m honored to address you today at Superintendent of Public Instruction,” Underly said.

The State of Education address leaves a unique message for a unique time: the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We’ve seen how tirelessly our teachers have worked to reinvent their practice, and the great lengths they would go to support our students and their well-being,” Underly said.

Underly, critical of the Republican-led state legislature, urging it to work to achieve more for students.

Wisconsin Republicans were also critical in their statement, saying students continue to suffer after a year of learning loss and school closures in the state.

“Today’s State of Education Address comes as districts like Appleton, Wausau, and Kenosha saw far more failing grades over the past year due to school closures and Tony Evers attacked school choice programs that help ensure a quality education for all Wisconsin students regardless of zip code.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin released the following statement from Executive Director Mark Jefferson:

“Wisconsin students are suffering from a year of learning loss, mass school closures, and Democrat leaders that are in the pocket of their teachers union donors. The state of education continues to get worse under teachers union puppets Jill Underly and Tony Evers.”
Wisconsin GOP

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said funding for K-12 education is at record levels already.

On the other side of the political sphere, Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, sided with Underly on a need for more education funding.

“If we’re going to make sure every kid has the chance to be successful in the state, then we have to invest in our kids and our schools,” Evers said in a recorded message.

Evers’ remarks can be found here.

Vos’ remarks can be found here.

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