Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Candidate Debate Summary

Meg Jones:

“Here’s my concern about the bully pulpit. If her position is ‘I’m going to Milwaukee and I’m going to go to taxpayer subsidized parochial or private schools that are part of the choice program,’ that’s great. But she also has to visit public schools. …

“She better talk about both in a positive way. She represents all kids, all 680,000 public school kids in the state of Wisconsin. We need her to be an advocate for those kids,” Evers said.

Holtz, the former Whitnall superintendent, said he talked to a friend who knows DeVos and said the new secretary of education has always been dedicated to children and wants students to be successful. He also said the Trump administration has promised not to meddle in decisions by local school districts.

“Assuming they are people of their word, as President Trump says ‘we’re not going to be involved in the states as they have in the past.’ I welcome that with open arms. I don’t want D.C. dictating what we’re doing in Wisconsin,” Holtz said. “I want Wisconsin to choose the path moving forward. I do think she’s going to help us with that.”

The candidates were asked when they last taught in a classroom. Evers said it was in 1980, but as the state superintendent he visits classrooms around the state at least once a week — last week he was in Durand and this week in Green Bay.

Molly Beck:

“I’m still not sure that I violated anything. But if I did, I really am the kind of person who is willing to name it, own it and fix it,” said Holtz. “And I obviously fixed it because I’m not working at the school district. I wanted to keep that separation so I could run 100 percent of the time and not worry about that. If the ethics commission says it was a problem, which I’m not sure they’re going to, then of course whatever the remedy is (I’ll accept).”

During his 2009 campaign, Evers was fined $250 after he sent an email from his personal email account to a Green Bay education administrator on his work account to assist in planning a fundraiser and increasing turnout.

Holtz suggested the race should focus on issues, not his email use, but Evers said the emails are relevant because integrity matters to voters.

“I paid a small fine and learned the lesson on pressing the right button,” Evers said. “Yeah, I think there should be an investigation. It’s clear that I never thought integrity would be an issue in this campaign but it’s clear it’s going to be. People in Wisconsin should be concerned that someone in a position that Lowell Holtz was would be using his email to kind of plan and plot strategy.”

Much more on Tony Evers, here.