Voters demonstrate strong support for public schools by re-electing Evers, passing school referendums

Wisconsin voters again expressed their strong support for public schools Tuesday by overwhelmingly re-electing State Superintendent Tony Evers and passing the large majority of school referendums.

“As they have done many times before, Wisconsin residents on Tuesday sent a strong message that they want quality public education for their children,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “They not only re-elected public school advocate Tony Evers by a large majority, they rejected the policies of his opponent, who supported expansion of private school charters and vouchers at the expense of public schools. And their support for local school referendums throughout the state adds an exclamation mark to their statement that they love their public schools.”

Evers was re-elected with 70% of the vote, while voters again agreed to raise raise their own taxes to support public schools. Results showed that 40 of 65 school referendums (61.5%) passed, including the two largest in Verona and Green Bay (see complete results here). School districts are increasingly turning to local school referendums to finance education as state funding for public school declines. Last year, voters approved 122 referendums.

Following his clear election victory, Evers said he believes the real winners are Wisconsin’s 860,000 public school kids. “The little girl in Altoona who loves playing her clarinet, the fourth grader in Greenfield who is excited about his computer class, and the kid from Three Lakes who is driven to invent and comes to school every day to work in the Fab Lab,” he said.

“I believe in public education and I am proud of where we are today. We have high graduation rates, suspensions are down, attendance is up, and the number of kids earning college credit in high school is at an all-time high.”

Evers said that with both the federal and state budgets in process, “it is clear now, more than ever, we will have to continue to fight for public education and the resources our kids need.”

Listen to Tony Evers’ Election Night comments:

State Supt. Evers Election Night Address

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Tony Evers sails into third term as Wisconsin education chief

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers sailed into a third term on Tuesday, easily defeating challenger Lowell Holtz. The Associated Press called the race about 35 minutes after the polls closed at 8 p.m. The victory positions Evers to move forward on an agenda that calls for increasing public school funding by more than $700 million.