A Message from Dr. Underly
Dear Fellow Wisconsinites,
I’m honored and humbled by the trust Wisconsinites have placed in me, and I’m overcome with gratitude for the incredible support we’ve had throughout this journey. The challenges faced by our public schools are the same challenges they faced pre-pandemic:
- Access to high quality preschool, childcare, and wrap-around programs;
- Access to the best and most passionate teachers;
- Access to mental health support, school counseling, and a robust school nursing service;
- Fair funding for our public schools.
We have a long road ahead of us, but I’m ready to get to work and build a stronger, more equitable public education system that provides every child, every day with the world-class public education system they deserve. The pandemic has only exacerbated our challenges, therefore:
- Every child deserves a high quality preschool program so that they are prepared for Kindergarten and elementary school. We know that children who have this high quality early childhood experience live longer, healthier lives, are more likely to not live in poverty as adults, and steer clear of the criminal justice system. Let’s invest on the front end, and save in so many ways on the back end.
- We need to do better to not only respect our current educators, but also do better to attract and retain teachers, and in particular, teachers of color.
- Every child deserves mental health support - in the form of social workers, school counselors, and a robust school nursing service. If our government deprives our communities of counseling and health services, the burden falls on the public schools.
- I am committed to advocating for more resources to our public schools and fighting for a funding system that works for all kids in all communities.
I am committed to working with the legislature, the Office of the Governor, and with all of our parents, and partners, to guarantee that our public education system, PK-16 or cradle to college, becomes the world-class education system that we all deserve.
At the end of the day, we need to ensure that every child, regardless of zipcode, has access to the quality public education programs, enrichment opportunities, and special education supports, so that all of our kids can be successful. Their success is our State’s success. I look forward to advocating for and supporting the programs that we know work for all kids. Here’s my promise to every family, student, and Wisconsinite young and old: I will always do what’s best for OUR kids.
Dr. Jill Underly