One of the most influential lawmakers over the state budgeting process said he wouldn’t support increasing funding for the state education agency because its new leader elected Tuesday was heavily backed by Democrats and teachers unions.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, made the statement just an hour after Pecatonica School District Superintendent Jill Underly was elected state schools superintendent, a position that oversees the state Department of Public Instruction.
Vos went to war with Underly immediately after her election after outside spending fueled by Democratic groups set a record for state superintendent races, which are supposed to be nonpartisan but aren’t as more political groups spend to back candidates and state parties promote them.
“… the teachers union owns the DPI; not the parents or the students or the taxpayers. Count me as someone who isn’t going to support putting another nickel into this unaccountable state bureaucracy,” Vos tweeted on Tuesday, an hour after the Associated Press called the race for Underly over former Brown Deer School District Superintendent Deb Kerr.
In response, Underly said she wants to work with the Legislature and Gov. Tony Evers to “help all kids — no matter how their parents vote.”
“I think it’s clear from yesterday’s results that supporting our local schools and our children isn’t a partisan issue,” she said in a statement. “There’s plenty of common ground here, as I’ve already said I want resources to flow to schools, to help with mental health, credit recovery, staffing, and more.”
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