Wisconsin schools need more help from the state

An open letter sent Monday to Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers —

Dear Sir:

Good morning! I come before you, and those I have listed below, with an open letter of concern. Today, is the day before the Goodman-Armstrong Creek Community will hold a referendum for our school. This will be the second attempt for this basic tax to keep our school serving the needs of our children. (Editor’s note: Voters passed the measure Tuesday.) When I checked the state website, there will be 59 school districts that will also be doing the same tomorrow.

In your letter on the state website, you state that “some of the most meaningful moments in my life happened in the classroom.” You go on to state that you were a science teacher, high school principal, ran two school districts prior to becoming the state Superintendent of Schools, and then governor. You should understand the reason behind this open letter.

For years, as a parent and now grandparent, I have heard about the dilemma that schools face due to declining enrollments, state-mandated criteria/curriculum and, most concerning, state funding for schools. The energy and expense that schools have to face in attempting a referendum is exhausting. In some cases, it has pit community members against each other. This NEEDS to be addressed at the state level! Our schools should not be political pawns. Our schools should be places of learning and nurturing and, as you stated, “…the most meaningful moments.”

I ask you to address the needs of EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT in our state by address the school payment schedule. Take us out of the politics.

You close your letter stating “that we are stronger when we look out for each other.” And, “my focus is on solving problems, period.”

I agree. Let’s work together.

Diane Smith

Goodman, Wis.