Wisconsin’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly says it’s time for us to come together and not be divided in order to keep our schools open. Underly offered the 2021 State of Education Address on Thursday, and said that strong schools are essential to a strong society. Underly touched on contentious issues that have garnered varied reactions in Door County, particularly masks. In an August 26th poll on DoorCountyDailyNews.com, 336 voters said they believe students should wear masks in school until the spread of the Delta variant is slowed down. 159 voters said students should not be required to mask up. Underly advocated for mask use, for the time being, saying that in her and Governor Tony Evers elementary school visits in the state, students seemed unbothered by them. She added that adults need to follow the lead of students, who’ve focused on their shared desire to be with their friends, learn, and protect each other.
Before outlining her and Governor Evers’s aspirations for Wisconsin education, she made a call for people across the state and political spectrum to stop abuse directed at educators. She noted that it is the students who suffer the most from it. Underly shared the goal of having Wisconsin reach education funding levels that they had over a decade ago before the Great Recession.
Underly made a call to address what she sees as education needs like increased funding in special education, fully funded preschool for four-year-old children, access to mental health support, robust nursing, and a stronger civics curriculum.