State superintendent fields biennial budget questions by Mount Horeb students

Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly took questions Wednesday from a committee of students at Mount Horeb High School.
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 8:51 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly took questions Wednesday about the state budget during a mock committee run by students at Mount Horeb High School.

Underly explained that she wanted to meet with the constituents most affected by K-12 provisions in the biennial budget. During the meeting, she spoke about the priorities of her department and the budget process. One area of concern is recruiting new teachers and retaining them.

“Like any business, you have to wonder, if you’re losing 60% of your new employees within five years, you have to figure out that it’s not them, it’s probably you,” Underly said. “And so we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can.”

Underly said people have to look at teacher salaries, working conditions and community factors, like housing.

Students expressed concerns about the lack of resources and attention. Underly said that as a former superintendent, she understands the budget constraints some schools are under.

“You think about student learning needs, you think about curriculum, you think about facilities, you think about things like school safety,” Underly said. “There’s so many competing needs. The kids were very open and honest about those.”

The meeting comes as Underly and her Cabinet have attended public hearings to speak with people and discuss the biennial budget. Her department has not been called on by the Joint Finance Committee to testify at an agency hearing for the budget.

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