Investing In Education
Restore the Wisconsin Idea
I will continue fight to adequately fund our schools. Wisconsinites have long recognized that strong public education benefits everyone. I will work to restore the Wisconsin Idea of providing high quality education to all of our citizens.
Investing in our public education system is investing in the future of Wisconsin. What’s best for our kids is best for our state. We spent the last 2 years beginning to restore Wisconsin’s historic tradition of strong public schools, and investing in crucial programs like special education and mental health services, but we have a long way to go. And if the Democrats lose a single seat this cycle, public schools are likely to face significant funding challenges in the 2021 budget.
I’ve fought for federal funding to assist our local schools in the wake of COVID19, and I will continue to fight for that funding as the country recovers from this devastating pandemic.
Special education deserves to be properly funded so our students can receive the attention and resources they need to succeed. Special education has suffered from budget cuts over the last decade, but we were able to win some small increases during my first term, and we need to win more. We need to raise the reimbursement rate higher so we can close the gap between what schools need to fund their special education services, and what the state has been providing them. Increasing aid to special education helps all students, and it’s what our students deserve.
Our communities need support in accessible mental health services, and that starts in schools. I support expanding mental health care services in school by bringing psychologists directly into schools to ensure students have the access to this critical care. I voted for legislation from the Assembly Task Force on Suicide Prevention that was passed into law to provide grants to high schools for peer-to-peer suicide prevention programs, such as Hope Squad.
Furthermore, I was one of a handful of legislators that showed up to the annual Wisconsin youth mental health update. In this meeting I asked if our teachers are suffering from secondary trauma from absorbing the pain and suffering of their students. In that moment, the room filled with a resounding, “yes!”. That’s not normal. Government meetings don’t sound like that. This was a room full of people who are both experts in mental health, education, and desperately care that the teachers are okay. We need to talk about the mental health of our students, and we also need to take care of our teachers. We can do both, and we should.