My three daughters are attending local public schools in the Lakeland school district. Like any parent, we want a good, quality education for our children. Wisconsin’s education system has historically been recognized as one of the strongest in the nation. Our rural, northern school districts do an excellent job serving their surrounding communities, but they also face difficult challenges. Many of these districts have high transportation costs and have a limited tax base because they are surrounded by state and federal forestland. This is why I supported adding additional per pupil funding for K-12 schools, a boost in high-cost transportation aids to rural school districts and changes in state law that will now allow more funds to go to local school districts via National Forest Income (NFI) payments.

I also believe that we must ensure that there is accountability in our education system, not just for K-12 education, but for technical colleges and universities as well. We cannot continue to accept the status quo. In today’s global economy, we must ensure that our educational system is preparing our children for both current and future needs in the workforce in an increasingly competitive world. Through collaborative efforts between policymakers, parents, employers, educators and school officials we can find new and innovative ways to improve our education system to meet the demands ahead.