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In these rancorous and difficult political times, it has never been more important to stand up for what we believe in. As your elected state superintendent, I’ve put our kids and public schools first. I am asking for your support and vote, so I can continue to champion our kids and working families for the next four years.

I stood up to Gov. Walker’s historic $1.6 billion cuts to public education, and I am leading the charge against the radical expansion of private school vouchers. I’ve fought for Wisconsin’s working families and dedicated educators, because education is the pathway to middle-class prosperity.

But to make meaningful change happen, leaders have to find common ground. Despite deep differences, I’ve brought parents, teachers, and administrators together with legislators and the governor to modernize education so that every Wisconsin child is prepared for college and careers.

I’ve championed school finance reform, adopted new internationally benchmarked academic standards, replaced outdated student assessments with more meaningful and timely tests, and worked with a diverse group of stakeholders to create new accountability and support systems for educators and schools.

I’ve worked with business leaders to reinvigorate career and technical education and, through partnerships with Wisconsin technical colleges and universities, expanded opportunities for students to earn college credit or industrial certifications in high school.

As a result, the scope and pace of change in Wisconsin public schools is unprecedented. We’re changing what children learn, how they are taught, and how schools and teachers are evaluated. It is an exciting time to be in education, and I’m so proud of the work that we’ve accomplished.

However, the challenges facing public education in Wisconsin have never been greater. We’ve endured unprecedented budget cuts during a time of historic child poverty and homelessness.

Moreover, too many elected officials share my opponent’s belief that we can cut our way to student success, and that when it comes to education, “private” is somehow synonymous with superior.

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I firmly believe that public education is our pathway to prosperity. As your state superintendent, I’ve stood steadfast with parents, teachers and community leaders against devastating budget cuts and continued disinvestment in public schools and universities.

I will continue to fiercely advocate for reinvesting in our kids, for fair funding for all of our schools, for ensuring parents and educators have a seat at the table, and for always doing what’s right for our kids.

For almost four decades, I’ve dedicated my life to public education. I started as a teacher. I’ve served as an education leader at every level — principal, school district administrator, CESA administrator, and state superintendent. I attended Wisconsin public schools, as did my wife, our three children, and our grandchildren.

The next four years are pivotal for our public schools, and we need steady, experienced leadership at the helm. A leader who believes that, for our kids to succeed, public educators must be invested and involved. A leader who will always seek common ground, and will always fight for what is best for our kids.

It is my honor to serve the students, parents, educators and citizens of Wisconsin as your state superintendent. With your help, I hope to continue to lead public education forward and continue fighting for Wisconsin’s kids. I ask for your vote on April 2.

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