Wis. superintendent calls for restoring respect - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wis. superintendent calls for restoring respect

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin's state superintendent says teachers were unfairly targeted in budget and policy debates over the past year and a half.

State Superintendent Tony Evers says the state needs to work together to restore respect for educators.

He is calling on the state to bring civility and cooperation back to education and says it's time to reinvest in our schools.

"To be pro-business, you have to be pro-education," Evers told an audience Thursday at the Capitol as he gave his annual State of Education address.

He  discussed ways to fix, what he's calling, Wisconsin's broken school funding program.

"We'll be asking for more assistance for the state of Wisconsin," Evers said. "We can't go through what we did last time and it looks to me like the revenue stream into the state is more robust than it has been in the past."

The legislature's last budget reduced aid to schools by $800 million over two years.

Thursday, Evers touted his latest funding proposal that he says holds the line on property taxes with measures that include setting a minimum state aid level of $3,000 per student.

"This is not much different than the proposal I had two years ago and that became embroiled in Act 10 in the budgetary debate. We had Republican support going in," Evers said. "It kind of fizzled out when people decided they were going to fight with each other."

And in the midst of that fighting, Evers said he's concerned teachers now feel they are under attack and under-valued.

Teachers have been at the forefront of the ongoing debate over Act 10, the law that limited collective bargaining rights for some public employees.

"Reasonable people can disagree about how the budget was balanced and about the necessity of Act 10. But every citizen in Wisconsin should be alarmed when teachers don't feel valued and respected by their communities and their state."

Evers was first elected state superintendent in 2009. He said he's inclined to run for a second term next year, but he hasn't made a final decision yet.

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