As Madison voters prepare to cast ballots Tuesday in important primary elections for the state Supreme Court and the Madison School Board, it is vital to recognize that the most critical challenge facing school districts across Wisconsin is the assault on public education that has been launched by out-of-state special interest groups and the politicians who do their bidding.
Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack is seeking re-election with heavy funding from Michigan, Texas and Arkansas donors with long histories of seeking to elect officials who will undermine public education with voucher schemes that divert taxpayer dollars to private schools. That should disqualify Roggensack in the eyes of any voter who wants to maintain the Wisconsin tradition of providing strong support for great public schools.
In the Madison School Board race, all three candidates express support for public schools, which is an indication that they know the community and surrounding Dane County. But, even in what has historically been a center of support for public education, it is important for voters to be aware of how and when outside groups will seek to influence local elections.
That’s why The Madison Institute’s Progressive Round Table forum on Saturday, Feb. 16, is so necessary.
The “Public Schools Under Attack: Vouchers, Virtual and Charter Schools” discussion will feature Julie Underwood, the UW-Madison dean of education, Madison School Board Vice President Marge Passman and state Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts, the former chair of the Assembly Education Committee.