By Will Martin
Candidate, Wisconsin Lt. Governor
Our children have been through a great deal of disruption and distraction during, and since, so many schools were closed to in-person classes as a reaction to COVID-19. While proficiency suffered and many students experienced learning loss, parents began to question what their children are being taught and how they are being taught.
Wisconsin spends $14 BILLION on K-12 education. That’s roughly about $15,000 per student. As we near the August 9th primary election as well as the beginning of a new school year, you deserve to know how each candidate for state office would improve education. I am happy to share my vision for offering the 21st Century education our children deserve and providing more transparency for parents.
Post the Curriculum for Each Class
Parents want more information about the education their children are receiving. K-12 teachers should post the curriculum for each class, so parents have more understanding about the lessons their children are learning.
Establish Universal School Choice
All Wisconsin parents should have the freedom to choose the education that best helps their children reach their full potential. From homeschooling to public or private schools, parents and students should have access to all options, and receive the same amount of public funding annually for their education.
Provide Universal Class Choice
Some schools offer multiple language, science, math, history, or literature courses; others have far fewer class options. Imagine harnessing the Internet to allow students anywhere in the state to take a K-12 class from anywhere else in the state. Universal class choice would empower parents and students to take advantage of the best Wisconsin’s K-12 educational system offers.
Reintegrate Vocational Education into High Schools
Fewer than one in three Wisconsinites 25 years of age and older have earned a bachelor degree. We should reintegrate vocational education into high schools, and encourage our youth to consider apprenticeships and technical college programs, both of which lead to high-demand, family-supporting careers our economy needs.
Offer Each High School Student a Youth Apprenticeship
Our K-12 educational system should not focus solely on academic achievement. The system also should be preparing students for the workforce. Our state should have a goal of ensuring that every student has a youth apprenticeship while in high school and the opportunity to explore career opportunities. Youth apprenticeships are an ideal way to introduce students to area businesses, and create a talent pipeline for those employers.
Wisconsin’s parents deserve a K-12 educational system that partners with, and empowers, them. Our children deserve a modern education that is designed to help them reach their God-given potential. Let’s overhaul our educational systems and policies to give Wisconsin children every advantage to fuel their futures.
Will Martin is a candidate for Lt. Governor. In addition to being a small business owner for 20 years and having advised government and private-sector agencies in Great Britain, The Netherlands, and Israel, Martin has served in multiple senior leadership roles for Governors Thompson and Walker.